According to most of the people in the world, one of the biggest problems that we face is not the failing world economy or the growing civil unrest in the Middle East. Instead most people in the world believe that we are the main problem, before any of the other struggles that might be going on. A better way of saying it would be that we as humans are the cause of the problems that we face. Those problems stem from the fact that we as humans don’t always get along with each other.
Some people even say that if there weren’t so many “stupid” people in the world, it would be better place to live and there would also be fewer struggles around us. In the Bible we see that mankind has struggled to get along with each other since the fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Since the Fall of Man, each of us is born with a sinful nature inside of us that makes us want to sin and rebel against what God would want us to do. In fact, God wants us to get along with each other and His Word is a great place to look to when it is difficult to get along with a co-worker or family member.
With all of the knowledge of the Bible, and what it’s teaching could help us to do in getting along with others, we as humans still pick and choose what we believe to be the best solution when it comes to dealing with other people; whether it is good or bad for the relationship. In his book How to Get Along with Almost Anyone H. Wright, writes about three important and vital qualities that we as Christians can use to get along better with other people. Those qualities are genuineness, nonpossessive love, and empathy.
Now, I know that some of you might be a little inquisitive when it comes to following some else’s advice. Since, there is such a vast array of books on the same topic at your local book store. Yet, the author backs his vital qualities by saying the following “that they have been supported since the 1950’s and have been backed up by over one hundred researchers. ” (pg17). So, now that we know that what he wrote in How to Get Along with Almost Anyone is backed up by years of research and acceptance.
Now, we can take a better look at each of the three qualities and how they apply to my life. The first quality that we read about is genuineness. A person who possesses this quality is someone who is truly themselves, the way God made them. A genuine person is not someone who puts up a fake facade or persona to fool people. A person who is genuine is able to freely express their feelings in an open and proper way, instead of masking or hiding them from the person that they are speaking too.
In the world today, many people live a life that is not genuine to them; they try to live a life that is false in order to please those that are around them. Yet, in all sense when they are the most happy, there are times when they are truly act like themselves towards others. In my personal life I can apply the quality of genuineness, when it comes to dealing with the people that I interact with on a daily bases. It is very easy for someone to change one’s self in order to please another person.
If a person does that long enough, they lose all credit that they might have with that person. When this happens, it becomes harder to live a life that shines the light of Jesus Christ. I need to be a person who is always genuine; so that my light might shine to those that I interact with daily. The second quality that we read about is non-possessive love. A person who has the quality of non-possessive love can be defined as being someone who exhorts non-possessive love towards other people.
I’m not talking about the kind of love that most of us are familiar with: emotional love. A non-possessive love is one that is built off of Biblical principles like kindness, fairness, patience, and most importantly a love that does not envy. For most of us, we find it hard to go throughout the day trying to exhibit one of the facets of non-possessive love. Yet, if we were to take the time to practice either kindness, or fairness, or patience, or love that does not envy once a day, we would find out that they are easy and enjoyable things to practice.
In my personal life, I can apply the quality of non-possessive love, when it comes to dealing with family members. Sometimes when they ask for my help with a certain task I can become impatient with them and get angry. This may make them angry and make a simple task less enjoyable. If I practice non-possessive love (patience) during the times when I’m helping a family member, I know that the task could be enjoyable for both parties and completed in a quick manner. The third and last quality that we read about is empathy.
This quality is difficult to define without an example. Empathy in sense is viewing someone else’s life through their eyes and feeling as they would feel. We see this practiced in our life when we have empathy towards someone who has lost a relative or when we rejoice with another person after they reach a goal or milestone. Most people confuse empathy with sympathy, believing that they are the same thing. That’s not true. Empathy is when we have feelings and experience those feelings with another person.
On one side of the picture we see sympathy, in which we have feelings for another, but don’t act on those feelings to be alongside the person that are experiencing them. I read an interesting article from LiveScience. com regarding empathy in today’s world. In the article they highlight the fact that most college students in 00’s showed less empathy towards people, than the college student in the years before them. The article goes on to say that we live in a “me” generation where everything is about us and what we want in order to better ourselves.
Having that type of attitude keeps college students into caring less about other people in times of joy or sorrow. In fact, the Bible teaches us in Romans 12:15 and Galatians 6:2, that we are to show empathy towards others by bearing their burdens (Gal) and then again it tells us to rejoice and weep with fellow believers (Rom). From the Bible we get a clear picture of empathy. Biblical empathy is walking along side someone in a time of either pain or rejoicing and showing our feelings to them. The simple act of being there with them in their time of need will go a long way.
In my personal life, I can apply empathy in my relationships being there for others when they are weeping or crying and showing them that I care. When we show others that we are sharing the same feelings, they will feel loved and know that they are not alone in their struggles. Overall, we will always have trouble getting along with one another, even when we use these three qualities that are found in How to Get Along with Almost Anyone. Our sinful nature will always cause us to have trouble to with accepting people the way that they are and the way that God created them.
Yet, we need work on getting along with other people. We can do this by using books for help, as well as reading the Bible. Through the help of others and God, we can truly get along with everyone.
Bryner, J. (2010, May 28). LiveScience. com. Retrieved Febuary, 17, 2011, from Today’s College Students Lack Empathy: http://www. livescience. com/9918-today-college-students-lack-empathy. html Holy Bible. New Living Translation. (2004). Tyndale House Publishers. Wright, H. N. (1989). How to Get Along with Almost Anyone. Nashvlle: Royal Publishing.