Why The Way We Treat People Matters
Christians can say much by how they interact with each other.
The words people use and the actions we take can communicate compassion or inflict pain. Our ways of interacting can reveal a person's character and relationship with the Lord. Reflecting on Ephesians 4:32, here are four explanations for why how we treat others matters in our relationship with God.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
1. Our Spiritual Growth
Growing in compassion, kindness, and forgiveness towards others are often side-effects as we live with the Holy Spirit. We can also make choices to practice compassion. Offering forgiveness or kindness when it feels most difficult can spur on spiritual growth as we depend on God to care for our hurts and fears.
Practicing intentionality as we interact with others is an important way we can reflect the Holy Spirit and become more like Christ.
2. The Spiritual Impact on Others
Showing up in relationship with others, as Ephesians 4:32 encourages, can profoundly influence others to different responses. Being kind, compassionate, and forgiving others is practical advice for growing healthy relationships. When we respond to situations in these ways, it can initiate the peace cycle response in others, and actually lead them to experience the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives.,
3. To Live Lives of Worship and Obedience
Engaging in and working through conflict is about more than just the conflict. It is an opportunity to respond in a way that is praiseworthy to God as we obey His word.
When we strive to align our will with God's and allow Him to do His work in our lives, our interactions with other people are a form of worship. As Ephesians 4:32 points out, reflecting the compassion, kindness, and forgiveness God has shown us is the reason all of your person-to-person interactions are actually about you and God.
4. To Experience the Good Life
Ephesians 4:32 positions us to receive the Lord's blessings. When we align with God's will and relate with others in ways that God calls us to, we can experience the richness that comes from a growing relationship with the Lord.
God wants to pour out His blessings on people, and one of the most evident ways He does that is through using community. As you learn to work through conflict and navigate difficult conversations with God, be prepared to experience the richness of life with God. They may not always be as we planned, but becoming more like Christ allows us to receive greater blessings than we ever imagined.
How we treat people matters because how we relate to others is about Jesus and what He has done for us and through us.
Find more content to discuss faith with young adults using the Does God Want Me? module from the Relationship IQ Curriculum.