Even though the Bible clearly tells us how we are to treat others, it’s no surprise that we still struggle.
Phrases like live peaceably with others, love others as Christ loves you, or do unto others as you would have them to you are so well known they have almost become cliché; however, the way the Bible says we are to treat others has not changed.
We all share this place. We work together, worship together, drive on the same highways together, and live together; unless you’re a hermit, you deal with people all the time.
From the beginning of creation, God created us for community. Shortly after creating Adam, He recognized it wasn’t good for man to be alone, so He created Eve (Genesis 2:18-22). Unfortunately, mankind has struggled to live with each other according to God’s design thanks to our sin nature (Psalm 51:5).
When the Bible instructs us on how we are to treat others, it’s more than just a recommendation; not only is it great advice, but it’s absolutely necessary if you desire to do God’s will.
It’s such a big deal to God, that He included several passages throughout the Bible on how we are to treat others. In life, you will encounter all types of people, and some will be easier to be around and others will not. Despite the difficult personality types you will encounter, if you have committed to following Jesus, you need to know and obey what the Bible says about how to deal with others.
20 Verses That Tell Us How To Treat Others
Treat Others With Christ-Like Love
Jesus led the way as a flawless model of how we are to treat and deal with others. He was kind and helpful to those whom society considered outcasts. The Pharisees mocked him for dining with prostitutes and tax collectors, yet his response to them was, “he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone” (John 8:7). Let’s look to Jesus first and foremost as our example of how we are to treat all people.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:5 NIV
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12 ESV
Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated
If you aren’t quite sure how you should treat others, just ask yourself how you would like to be treated. If you prefer to be treated with kindness, then treat others with kindness. If you are having a bad day, and you need compassion, then be compassionate to others, and look for ways you can help them in their time of need. If you made a mistake, and want a little grace and mercy, remember that the next time someone messes up. However, you want to be treated, make that your philosophy for how you will treat others.
“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6:31 ESV
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 NIV
Put Others First
Putting others first takes effort for many of us because we have a tendency to look out for number one. I’ve heard it said that before you can take care of others, you must first take care of yourself. This concept is contrary to what the Bible tells us. Instead, we are instructed to put others first, to consider them better than us, and to not worry about ourselves. In so doing, we are acting in faith and allowing God to take care of us in His own way. We see this exemplified by Jesus Christ, when He sacrificed His life for ours; when all was said and done, not only were we saved, but also He was highly exalted (Philippians 2:9-11).
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 ESV
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 NIV
Exemplify Godly Characteristics
It’s not difficult to figure out how God wants us to treat His children. It’s not a puzzle to solve; it’s plainly explained throughout his Word that we are to be kind, loving, forgiving, patient, compassionate, humble, and caring.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14 ESV
Perhaps one of the greatest acts of love is that of servitude. After all, who doesn’t appreciate someone who is willing to jump up at a moment’s notice to help another fellow human being in their time of need. Our community always needs more servants, more people who are willing to get in, get dirty and get the job done with no expectation of compensation, praise, or reward. In Mark 9:35 NIV, Jesus tells the twelve disciples, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14 NIV
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NIV
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 ESV
Love your enemies.
Perhaps one of the most difficult commands to follow is the one that says we have to love our enemies—yes, we are supposed to love the ones that have hurt us and wronged us. Our natural inclination is to get even with them, make them pay, and make them feel what they made us feel. But God says that is not our place; we are to love them and let God deal with them in His own way.
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21 ESV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 ESV
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35 NIV
Make Sure Your Actions Are Heartfelt
The phrase “fake it ‘til you make it” does not apply when it comes to how we treat others. If you don’t feel it in your heart, that might be a sign that you have some issues that you need to work on. If you don’t truly love someone, it will eventually show in the ways described in Galatians 5:20-21, “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy.” I’ve found the best way to cultivate my love for others is by deepening my relationship with God. As I walk in the Spirit, I naturally begin exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Galatians 5:22-26 NIV
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:9-10 ESV
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 ESV
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18 NIV
When you find yourself having trouble getting along with others, whatever the reasons may be, do not allow it to cause you to stumble. Instead, give it to God by taking it to Him in prayer. Entrusting your relationships to God is the best thing you can do to help you treat others in a manner that glorifies God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Article originally published on Crosswalk.com on July 22, 2022: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/verses-that-tell-us-how-to-treat-others.html