The Bible explicitly tells us how to treat others, but it’s no surprise that we still struggle. Phrases like do unto others as you would have them to you, love others as Christ loves you, and live peaceably with others are so popular that they’ve become cliché. However, how the Bible says we should treat others hasn’t changed.
All humans share the earth. We worship and work together, drive on the same highways and live together. Unless you live under a rock, you constantly deal with people. From the start of creation, God created us to be a community. After He made Adam, God realized that man shouldn’t be alone, so He created Eve. Sadly, humanity struggles with living with each other according to God’s plan, thanks to our sinful nature, as described in Psalm 51:5.
When the Bible tells us how to treat others, it’s not a recommendation. It’s good advice, but it’s necessary if you want to follow God’s will. Treating others with respect is so important to God that He included numerous passages on how we should treat others. In life, you will come across all types of people; some will be easier to be around, and others will not.
Despite the problematic personality types you’ll meet, if you’ve committed to following Jesus, you must know and obey what the Bible says about dealing with others. Here are some Bible verses on how we should treat others.
"In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Jesus Christ." – Philippians 2:5
Jesus perfectly exemplifies how we should deal with and treat others. He was kind-hearted and supportive to people who society considered outcasts or unworthy. When the Pharisees made fun of him for eating with tax collectors and prostitutes, Jesus told them, “he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” When we’re struggling with dealing with others or how we should treat others, let us look to Jesus as our example.
"And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them." – Luke 6:31
If you’re uncertain how to treat others, first ask yourself how you would like to be treated. If you want kindness, then be kind to others. If you’ve had a bad day and desire compassion, show compassion to others, looking for ways to help them when they need it. If you stumble and desire mercy and grace, remember this ideal the next time someone makes a mistake. However you want to be treated, make sure your philosophy matches with how you treat others.
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." - Philippians 2:3
Putting others before yourself takes effort for many people because we tend to look out for ourselves the most. Most people have heard that before taking care of others, you have to take care of yourself. This idea is conflicting with what the Bible tells us. Instead, the Bible tells us to put others first, consider them better than ourselves, and put ourselves last. By doing so, we’re acting in faith and letting God handle us in His way. The most notable example was Jesus Christ when He gave His life for us. Because of His sacrifice, not only were we saved, but He was highly exalted.
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32
It’s not challenging to recognize how God wants us to treat His children. It’s not a mystery to solve. Scripture plainly describes that we should be loving, kind, forgiving, patient, humble, caring, and compassionate.
"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
One of the most incredible acts of love is servitude. Who doesn’t appreciate someone willing to step in at any time to help someone else when they need help? Our community needs more servants, people who are eager to get their hands dirty to get the job done without reward, praise, or compensation. In Mark 9:35, Jesus reminds the 12 disciples, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and servant of all.” In other words, if we want to be first, we have to put ourselves last and serve others.
"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
One of the most challenging commands to follow is that we should love our enemies. We’re supposed to love those who wronged and hurt us. Naturally, we want to make them pay, get even with them, and make them feel the way we felt. However, God says we should love them and let Him handle them in His way.
"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
You may be familiar with the phrase “you have to fake it until you make it.” Unfortunately, this phrase doesn’t work regarding how we care for others. If your actions aren’t heartfelt, that might signify that you have some issues you need to work through. If you don’t love someone, it will eventually show with jealousy, envy, and hatred, as described in Galatians 5:20-21. The best way to nurture your love for others is to deepen your relationship with God. When you walk in the Spirit, you start showing the fruit of the Spirit.
Treating others with kindness and respect can be challenging, especially if they haven’t been the nicest to us. However, we must treat them this way because that’s what God wants. We are extensions and representatives of Jesus Christ, so we must follow His example and treat others with compassion.