Getting on with others: Part 2 - Hope 103.2

Getting on with others: Part 2

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsTuesday 10 Sep 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsLifeReading Time: 0 minutes


It’s not always easy to get along with others,especially if there’s been hurt or misunderstanding. That reminds me of the story about Jack and his little sister. Jack’s mother ran into his bedroom when she heard him screaming and found his two-year-old sister pulling his hair. She gently released the little girl’s grip as she comforted Jack by saying,”There,there. She didn’t mean it. She doesn’t know that hurts.” Mum was barely out of the room when the little girl started screaming. Rushing back into the bedroom she asked Jack what happened. “She knows now,” Jack explained. We know what he means,and it’s difficult not to retaliate sometimes when we’ve been hurt or mistreated.

In Romans 12,Paul has some excellent advice on how to get along with others. V16 “Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people”. Another translation says “Live in harmony with one another”. In Romans 15:5 it says “God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that He will help you live at peace with each other as you follow Christ”. There are lots of other verses in the Bible that make it clear we should do our best,as God helps us. The only way that can be achieved is to be humble. Don’t think you’re better than others. There is no place for conceit in Christianity,because we are all made in God’s image – no-one is better than anyone else.

3. Resist repaying a wrong. The first part of verse 17 is a warning against what comes naturally to most of us: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” The idea here is that we’re not to pay back a wrong that’s been done to us. Is there someone you’d like to pay back today? Do you want someone to hurt like you hurt? Here’s the deal: Don’t retaliate when you’ve been wronged. 1 Peter 3:10: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult,but with blessing,because to this you were called.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 adds,”Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong,but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else• It causes conflict to escalate. Proverbs 30:33: “For as churning the milk produces butter,and as twisting the nose produces blood,so stirring up anger produces strife.”
Retaliation is usually excessive. When we do pay back,it’s often with interest!

I guess it’s true you can’t always stop people from hating you,but you don’t have to hate them back. You can’t always make people love you,but you can always love them back.
There’s a good book called  “Love Dare” and there’s a chapter called Love Forgives” and I’d like read part of it to you (pages 122-123): “Imagine you find yourself in a prison-like setting. As you look around,you see a number of cells visible from where you’re standing. You see people from your past incarcerated there – people who wounded you as a child. You see people you once called friends but who wronged you at some point in life. You might see one or both of your parents there,perhaps a brother or a sister or some other family member. Even your spouse is locked in nearby,trapped with all the others in this jail of your own making.

This prison,you see,is a room in your own heart. This dark,draughty,depressing chamber exists inside you every day. But not far away,Jesus is standing there.