A: We each have our own individual personality, and it’s true that some people are harder to get along with than others — sometimes much harder! No wonder the Bible urges us to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
Why are some people like this? Sometimes it’s because of pride; they think they’re better than anyone else, and this keeps them from being friendly. Sometimes it may be for psychological reasons they may not even realize. Someone, for example, who’s been hurt by others or was abused as a child often will be angry or suspicious as a result. And sometimes it’s because a person simply wants to be left alone, for whatever reason.
The real question, however, is this: How should we react to people who aren’t easy to get along with? It’s easy to like people who like us, but what about those who are hard to like? Let Jesus Christ be your example. Instead of lashing out at those who hated Him, He still loved them and was even willing to give His life for them. The Bible says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink” (Proverbs 25:21).
Pray for your cousin, and ask Christ to help you love him just as God loves him. Then do what you can to be a friend to him and point him to Christ, even if this is difficult. Your patience and love could make the difference.
Q: Do angels ever appear to people, or are they always invisible? But if they’re invisible, how do we know they even exist? — Mrs. R. McC.
A: Angels are certainly real; the Bible repeatedly tells us about them and the work God has given them to do. They are spiritual beings, the Bible says, who were created by God to do His will. The Bible says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).
Because they are spiritual and not physical beings, the angels usually are invisible and unseen by us. In fact, one of heaven’s joys, I believe, will be the joy of looking back over our lives and discovering just how often the angels intervened to save us or bless us — although we weren’t even aware of it at the time. The Psalmist said that God “will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11).
Nevertheless, the Bible also tells us that at times the angels have become visible. When God announced to the Virgin Mary that she would bear His Son, He used the angel Gabriel to convey the news to her (see Luke 1:26-38). When Jesus’ birth was announced to the shepherds outside Bethlehem, “a great company of the heavenly host appeared ... praising God” (Luke 2:13). Many other examples from the Bible could be cited.
Do angels still appear? I’m convinced they do on occasion — although sometimes we may not even be aware of them, because they have chosen to appear as ordinary human beings. We should thank God for His angels, but at the same time, we shouldn’t become overly preoccupied with them. Nor should we worship them, for only God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is worthy of our worship.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.