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Key Scriptures to Help You Get Along with Others

We don’t always get along very well with others. I suspect God had a pretty good idea this would be one of our most difficult problems come this day and age. Scripture is rich in resources aimed at helping us with this problem, but we often don’t pay sufficient attention to them. We don’t routinely mind God’s word in the effort to get along better with our loved ones—or strangers, for that matter. The following texts are just a starting place for you, and I suggest them here in the hope that they will inspire you to allow God more ready access to your heart. Your heart, afterall, is the place to start!

Ezekiel 36:26
God gave Ezekiel a magnificent vision of the rejuvenation of his chosen people. He watched as God re-animated the Israelites, virtually dead in their sins. The dry bones lived once again, and the crowning act of his work of God was to give his people hearts of flesh. He took away their cold, hard hearts portrayed in the vision as stone and gave them hearts that could love again. Like he did for those in this vision, God can do for you in real life. We’ve been hardened by life’s difficulties and sins; let’s allow God to remove our hearts of stone and make us human again

Genesis 1:26-27
All people are God’s creation. It is a moral absolute that we should treat a creation of God with dignity and respect. We’ve a tendency to make all kinds of excuses for the lack of dignity and respect with which we treat others. There can be no excuse for dishonoring a creation of God. No matter how debased, sick or evil a person may become as they engage in a life of sin, our moral duty is to love them as God’s creation.

Micah 6:8
Micah’s call to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” is a classic text for Christian ethics. He boils things down to a bottom-line approach to how we can get along better with others. Simple to memorize and recall, this passage can serve as a ready reference in times when you are stressed and close to hurting someone with words or deeds. How might personal humility change the dynamic of your squabble? How would attention to being a merciful person affect your disposition toward him? Would the idea of justice change the way you think about the situation?

Luke 10:27
Often called the “two-fold command” to love self and love neighbor, this passage is very practical and closely related to the golden rule. If we treat others in ways that we ourselves would like to be treated, we may get along better. Combine this emphasis with God’s agape love—that is, love that is unconditional—and we’re getting closer to being easier to get along with!

Colossians 3:12-17
I just love this passage from Paul (what follows is equally important but will have to be the subject of another column) because he places us firmly into community; the community of faith. Our lives are not our own. Everything we do results in consequences in our own and in the lives of those surrounding us. Our lives are thoroughly  interconnected, and Paul recognizes here how important certain character traits are for Christians who want to live together in peace.

Perhaps you like to fight and don’t really care about getting along with others. Ask God to remove your stony heart and soften your disposition. Perhaps you desire to get along with others but regularly fall short, lacking in habits that make a positive difference. Ask God to give you strength in those times of weakness. He and His Word can help.

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By Mark F. Carr. Reprinted with permission from Pacific Union Recorder, August 2008. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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