Monday, October 11, 2010

What To Do When You’re the Enemy

Sometimes we offend people without knowing it. But what should we do when we discover that someone resents us for something we did or said? For example, you may have had to tell a coworker that you couldn’t help him as he had hoped. Since then he has hardly spoken to you, but you really couldn’t help him then. How should you handle a situation when you’ve become The Enemy?

Sometimes we have to say no, and it may not be understood or appreciated. Assuming it was for good reasons, then we should not feel guilty about someone’s reaction. But that doesn’t mean we should just ignore the damaged relationship. We need to take the initiative to repair it, even if were just doing what was necessary.

Of course, how you may have said no is important, too. Hopefully you had explained your reasons, tried to find an alternative solution for him if possible, and expressed your regrets. If you had just dropped “no” on him like a bomb, that could be the reason for his hostile reaction.

You can ask God to give you wisdom in how to approach the person so that the relationship can be restored. You will need understanding, patience and a kind, gentle spirit. God is the author of those traits, so seek his perspective and help. God can also prepare the individual to be accepting and forgiving, so pray for that too.

Be willing to take the first step to patch up your relationship with someone you’ve offended. That’s what God did when we offended him with our sin.


  1. This is wise advice, not just for working women, but for everyone. Thank your, Mary, for the reminder!

  2. You're right, Jean. It is always important to do what we can to keep all our relationships healthy.