Having trouble with that one guy, or that one girl who you just can’t stand? Remember the words of Paul:

Rom 12:18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Notice how Paul starts with a caveat. He says “if it be possible” we should live in peace with all men.

Well…what if it is not possible?

There are obviously those people who are not drive-by persecutors, but are belligerent men, intent on causing you hardships and pain in a long-term way. Though we are never right to fight back, we are not obliged to sit then and continue to be beaten down, either.

We are told to seek for peace: We go the extra mile, we turn the other cheek, etc. But if our olive branches are not returned in kind, then it is not us who can’t live in peace with them, it’s them who can’t live in peace with us. Some people are so overcome with wickedness that they can’t stand to be in our midst. So be it. If they will not move away from us, we should move away from them.

Walking away from a lost person in such a situation is not a rejection of mercy, it’s the understanding that we must not cast pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). At some point we are wasting our time trying to get along with people who don’t want to be gotten along with. Let them go.

Always remember, however that it must be that they can’t live with us. As far as we’re concerned, as much as lies in us, we are to strive to live in peace with all men. Too many Christians are quick to shun the lost and disassociate themselves with sinners. Remember that Jesus ate and talked frequently with sinners. Those who want to be helped or who might want to be helped (but don’t know it yet) don’t need a cold shoulder: They need the Gospel brought to them. Walking away is a last resort, for the sake of your own soul, not a first resort for the sake of convenience or reputation.

So remember the soul of the person you are struggling with. If there can be a way to get along with them, you have a Christian obligation to do so. But if they don’t want to get along with you, then you just need to get along little doggie!