By Wang Zihan
For many people, dealing with people is the biggest problem. In real life, we will encounter many people; some are in line with our will, but some don’t conform to our will. As Christians, how should we treat people around us? What kind of the Lord’s requirements should we practice to conform to His will? … I found the answers to these questions in a book of truth and, moreover, when acting according to what the book says, my own relationship problem was really resolved. Therefore, I want to share some understanding based on my experiences with everyone.
First, we should be fair and equitable in our treatment of everyone without relying on our emotions and preferences to act.
Thesaid: “For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brothers only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:46-48). The Lord’s words clearly tell us that as Christians we shouldn’t do this: We are honest with people only when they offer benefits to us, while we ignore them when they hurt us; we get close to them when we encounter those who are like-minded to us, while we discriminate against and shun those who are not after our heart; we fawn upon those in high positions or with great forces but exclude and belittle those without status or forces. If we do, we, just like non-believers, are not worthy to be called the believers in the Lord.
For example, when someone who is like-minded to us raises our deficiencies with us, we can accept, but if the person we don’t like does that, we will justify ourselves without obeying, and sometimes we will feel disgusted and conflicted, and even attack them. This shows that we act based on emotions and preferences, and that we are unfair to people. This is at odds with the Lord’s will. Since we believe in the Lord, we should follow Jesus to love others as ourselves. Regardless of whether others are like-minded to us, and no matter they are ordinary brothers and sisters or church leaders, we should treat them with sincerity and fairness, and have tolerance, patience and love instead of cheating and having prejudices against them. Only by doing so will we conform to the Lord’s will.
Second, we should treat the failings and corruptions of others correctly, and shouldn’t delineate or judge others arbitrarily.
The Lord Jesus said: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2). The Lord Jesus taught us that if others have transgressions or corruptions revealed we shouldn’t judge or delineate them arbitrarily. Let’s read theto see how the Lord Jesus treats transgressors. Pharisees brought an adulterous woman before Jesus to see how He would deal with her. In accordance with the law, this woman would have been stoned to death, but the Lord Jesus didn’t condemn her but just told her not to sin anymore. From this practical example, we can see that the Lord Jesus particularly sympathizes with our human weakness. When we have transgressions, as long as we truly repent, the Lord will forgive us, and give us time and opportunities to change. Therefore, we should treat the failings or corruptions of others correctly and view others with an eye for development. This is only fair. If we treat others relying on satanic corrupt disposition, making harsh demands of others, trifling over minor matters, and arbitrarily judging and defining others, this is not in keeping with the will of the Lord, and we will absolutely have no normal relationship with others.
For example, there was a sister in our church who always didn’t attend meetings on time because of passivity and weakness. I fellowshiped with her many times, but it didn’t work. I felt really angry over this and decided that she was not a sincere believer in God. So, I didn’t want to support her anymore or pay any more attention to her. Afterward, I saw the Bible say: “Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him which eats not judge him that eats: for God has received him. Who are you that judge another man’s servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand” (Romans 14: 3-4). When I read this I felt quite ashamed. Thinking back on how God moved my brothers and sisters to support me when I was negative and weak and fell in defeat so that I could stay standing. Likewise, now when I saw that the sister couldn’t attend meetings on time because of family and secular entanglements, I ought to give her loving support. However, I did not feel worried or anxious about her life, and even gave her the cold shoulder and defined her as a believer who wasn’t sincere to God. I was so wicked and had no compassion. My actions were fundamentally inconsistent with the Lord’s intention. After realizing this, I came before God to confess my sins and repent, and decided to continue supporting the sister, fellowship with her out of love, and share my practical experiences with her. After several times of fellowship, she started to attend meetings regularly and even to do the church work. Through this experience I understood that during the period that God works to save man, no matter what weaknesses and failings we believers have or what kind of corruptions we reveal, as long as we are sincere believers in God and can repent before God, God will give us opportunities to change. Therefore, we should also help and tolerate others out of love, and treat everyone according to God’s requirements. We must not arbitrarily define or judge others. Only treating others this way is fair and conforms to the Lord’s will.
Third, we should neither overestimate nor underestimate any of others, and learn to discover the strengths of others to make up our own shortcomings.
The Bible says: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also inJesus” (Philippians: 2:3-5). When we interact with the brothers and sisters, if we look down upon those who are not talented and gifted or those who are foolish and of poor caliber because we have a certain level of capability and possess a little caliber and talent, this reveals our arrogance, which is the disposition of Satan. The Lord Jesus said: “And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew: 23：12). We should humble ourselves and modestly draw on the strengths of others to make up our own shortcomings. Only then will God be pleased with us, and our lives grow continuously.
Besides, we should know that no matter others are stupid or smart, of good caliber or bad, poor or rich, we should not have prejudices against them or rely on affections to treat them. Whatever kind of appearance we have, whatever caliber and strengths and gifts we possess, these are predestined by God, so we have no reasons to find fault with others. Whether God saves a person does not depend on these external things, and therefore, we should not care about these. Rather, we should treat the failings of everyone correctly and learn to respect others.
Fourth, when seeing others doing things in a way not in keeping with our own thoughts, we shouldn’t fixate on others’ issues but should first learn to know ourselves.
The Lord Jesus said: “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew: 7:3-5). In interacting with others, it is impossible to avoid some minor friction. We shouldn’t blindly fixate our eyes on others, be obsessed with right and wrong or look to others for causes but should learn to find the problems in ourselves. When we know ourselves, then we will naturally put aside our prejudices against others.
I have deep experience of this. For example, a sister I was paired with raised my deficiencies with me many times, saying I didn’t have any burden in the work of the church. Not only did I not receive it from God, but I thought that she picked on me purposely and made things difficult for me. For this, I developed preconceived ideas of the sister and didn’t want to do the church work with her. Later, by seeking I came to know that my refusing others’ advice was dominated by my satanic nature of arrogance. At the same time, I recognized: Actually the people, events, and things that I encounter on a daily basis are set up by God for changing and saving me; it was not that the sister made things difficult for me. I should accept the matter from God, learn to put myself aside, accept the sister’s right advice, and actively open up and reveal my corruptions to her in order to achieve harmonious coordination. This would be beneficial to the church work and allow us to gain the truth. So, I started to practice according to God’s demands. I didn’t expect that the sister would also know her own deficiencies. Finally we were spiritually linked and became as harmonious as before.
The above four principles are some understanding based on my own experiences. Only by treating everyone fairly according to God’s teachings, and being able to benefit people around us can we live out the manner of a true person and glorify and bear witness for God.