THE ART OF GETTING ALONG WITH OTHERS
By Tom Moore
The art of getting along with others seems to be something that evades many in our world today. And yet, it is an art that Christians are commanded to have. Consider the words of the apostle Paul, “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18). Every faithful Christian should not only be concerned with his duty toward God and toward self, but also toward his fellowman.
Have you wondered why some men are always at peace with their fellowman, while others are always (it seems) at war with others? A Christian that has a problem getting along with others will have very little, if any, saving influence with those around about. Friends, Christians must be able to get along with others to be pleasing to God. Consider four ways we can accomplish this vital task.
WE NEED TO CONSIDER OURSELVES. We should never fool ourselves into thinking that we are never the problem. It seems that many times we have “blinders” on when it comes to our own shortcomings. We need to have a pleasant disposition when it comes to dealing with other people. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Col. 4:6; ESV). We must have they type of disposition that attracts people, NOT the type that drives people away. How can we let our light shine if we hid it under the bushel of grumpiness? Could our middle name be “whiner” based on the things that we say and do? If so, then we are turning people away from Christianity, and are discouraging the brethren. Have you considered your disposition lately?
BE INTERESTED IN OTHERS WELFARE. To get along with others we need to show them kindness. We need to take an interest in their spiritual and physical welfare. Those who are indifferent to the welfare of others will also have a problem getting along with people. Is it anything to you that people are dying in sin every day? Is it anything to you that there are souls all around us that need a helping hand? We need to be interested in the welfare of others as was Christ. “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd” (Mt. 9:36). We need to avoid being like the “so called friends” of Job, who instead of encouraging Job, made matter worse for him. One sure-fire way to get along with others is to show genuine interest in their lives.
WATCH YOUR WORDS. One major obstacle that has plagued man over the years is the ever present careless tongue. To many times we speak before we properly engage our brains. Many boast, “I always speak my mind.” I don’t know that I would boast about that! It was once said, “It is one thing for people to think of you as a fool, but it is another thing to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Consider the words of Solomon, “A soft answer turneth away wrath; But a grievous word stirreth up anger. The tongue of the wise uttereth knowledge aright; But the mouth of fools poureth out folly” (Pro. 15:2). The man who can control his tongue will be better adept at getting along with others.
BE TOLERANT. Don’t think that just because someone disagrees with you that they are your enemy. A wise man will listen to others and consider what they have to say. Being tolerant does not mean we are not standing for the truth. There are areas in which one might disagree with another and still be tolerant of their belief (in the areas of opinion). But, it is also important to realize that we are never to tolerant error when it comes to matters of faith (cf. Gal. 2:4-5). We need to be tolerant of each other’s personalities. It would be a boring world if everyone had the same personality. Be assured that some people will “rub you the wrong way,” but we must be tolerant. You might say that we just need to “grin and bear it” at times. We need to be tolerant others, for after all, everyone cannot be as perfect as we are – or, should I say, as we think we are.
Will Rogers is reported to have said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Again, remember the words of Paul, “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18). Let’s do our best to get along with all men.
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!