Life is difficult. And life is more difficult when there are interpersonal conflicts! Some of us are easier to get along with than others, however, it’s important for all of us to continue to develop our people skills.
The following thoughts are from my commentary and study from the Book of Ephesians. You can find that book on this very website by clicking on the menu and clicking on Personal Growth Resources.
These are principles taken right from the Holy Bible, Ephesians 4:1-3, as I believe the Bible is God’s Word to mankind to reveal His Great Purpose, and Our Great Purpose for Living and His keys to live successfully in every sphere of life.
Take a read below and give me some feedback on what are keys you’ve discovered on how to have good relationships with others!
- Be humble, v. 2
Humility is an attitude we have about ourselves and others. A person who is humble does not see himself as higher than others. A humble person learns from others. A humble person listens to others. A humble person gives honor to others rather than himself.
Below are key verses about humility. The Lord Jesus Christ, Himself, God of Heaven, humbled Himself and served others. He left us the example that we should humble ourselves toward others.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Be gentle, v. 2
Jesus gave us the Golden Rule about how to relate to others:
So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
If we are angry with others, they will be angry with us. If we are rude with our words or actions to others, then they will be rude back to us. If we forgive others, they will forgive us. The Greek word for “gentleness” is prautetos. This word means someone with power does not use his power. It means this person with power holds his power and does not use his power for his own benefit, but sacrifices his power for another.
In our relationships with others it means we may have the physical power or authority over someone to get revenge or intimidate them or make them fearful of us, but we bury that power and humble ourselves and show grace to them instead.
Jesus used this word to describe Himself:
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
A Christian is someone who does not use his strength, power or authority to hurt others with his words or actions.
- Be long-suffering, v. 2
The Greek word used here for “long-suffering” makro-thumia. This word means to have a long emotional state. It is the opposite of anger. It is similar to patience, but different.
Long-suffering is when a person has self-control when they are being provoked. Long-suffering is when a person controls himself instead of getting revenge. Long-suffering is associated with mercy.
God uses this word to describe Him:
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
“Patience” is associated with facing difficult situations.
“Long-suffering” is associated with facing difficult people.
- Tolerate others, v. 2
This word in the Greek language is anecho and it means to “hold back punishment.” This is when someone is doing bad a Christian and he does not give them what they deserve. He does not punish them with words or actions, but he holds back that punishment. This is the same word used about God holding back His punishment on those who sin. God does not punish sinners now, but He wants for the last day.
Look at these Bible verse that teach we Christians to be tolerate others:
1 Peter 2:21-23
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 3:8-12
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 4:12-19
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
What Paul and Peter and Jesus are saying is that when we face difficulties with others in our family, in our work or in the church, we must trust Him and night fight back with negative words, actions or attitudes.
- Make every effort to promote peace in relationships, v. 3
This is a commitment of the Christian that we will do everything within our ability to keep peace with others and especially, other Christians and other churches.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
These are some real keys that have helped me navigate relationships. What about you? Leave some comments so we can all learn from one another!