How to Treat One Another

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”

In today’s passage, someone asks what the greatest commandment is. Jesus replies, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” He doesn’t stop there but includes a second one: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Strong, loving connections are based on treating others the way we want to be treated. As you think about your friends, family, and coworkers, consider the following characteristics of a strong relationship:

• Enjoyment and satisfaction

•  Loyalty

• Truthfulness

• Prayer support

• Forgiveness

• Encouragement

• Generosity

• Respect and honor

• Acceptance

• Protection from emotional, physical, or spiritual harm.

Most of us would have to admit that we don’t always exhibit these characteristics, but wouldn’t we all want them displayed toward us? Ask the Lord to give you the patience and wisdom to mend or strengthen your relationships.

Listening to God when You Cannot Pray

Love’s Hidden Enemy

Childish thinking can block our ability to fully enjoy love.

1 Corinthians 13:8-11

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with.For we know in part and prophesy in part;10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with.11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

What keeps you from loving others? Paul penned a beautiful description of biblical love (Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Cor. 13:4-7) and then concluded, “When I became a man, I did away with childish things” (v. 11). I believe childish thinking is a hidden enemy of loving relationships. When we are young, a mental grid forms in the mind, and we interpret life through it. Over time, that grid changes as some ideas are dropped and others are incorporated.

The same is true for us spiritually: As we mature, our mental framework should increasingly be shaped by Scripture—and that includes our understanding of love. Childish, self-seeking ideas of love must be replaced with truths about mature love that wants what’s best for others.

Our relationship with God can also be affected by childish thinking. We may believe that His love is dependent on our performance. Or we could mistakenly assume God is withholding love if He doesn’t fulfill our desires.

What faulty thinking is hindering your ability to love and be loved? By putting away your immature beliefs, you’ll be freed to experience God’s unconditional love and express Christlike love to others.

We All Win Together

Sent by a friend
Church should be a place where Christians shed the world’s competitive spirit. But instead, it’s sometimes yet another arena where people strive for personal glory.

When we treat our sanctuaries like stages, chasing the spotlight, we end up building our own kingdoms instead of God’s. And our brothers and sisters in Christ can become stepping stones or, worse, collateral damage.

This problem isn’t new, nor is its solution. What Jesus taught the disciples to abandon was not the pursuit of excellence but the path of self-exaltation. In other words, if we’re competing for anything, it should be for last place—so that we might all triumph together in becoming a true reflection of Christ.

Do you see something of yourself in these descriptions? If so, ask the Holy Spirit for help correcting course and aligning your heart with His.

Think about it

• Read Romans 12:10-21 (10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.)

and Matthew 20:1-15 (“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and to those he said, ‘You go into the vineyard also, and whatever is right, I will give you.’ And so they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he *said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They *said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He *said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ “Now when evening came, the owner of the vineyard *said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group to the first.’ When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. 10 And so when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day’s work and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go; but I want to give to this last person the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I want with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’).

Are there any specific areas of your life that need to be reoriented so that they align with these verses? With whom are you competing? How can you shift toward honoring and serving them instead?

The Cost of Compassion

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.
1 Peter 3:8

We often hear, “Freedom isn’t free.” Likewise, we refer to salvation as a free gift. It was free to us, but it was not free for God. His love for us was paid for with the life of His only Son.
Love and compassion always come with a price in time, talent, or treasure—and often, all three. Jesus illustrated the price of compassion in His parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan man who helped the injured Jewish man paid with his time: He interrupted his own travels to stop and help. He paid with his talent: He employed his creative compassion to make arrangements for the man’s care. And he paid with his treasure: He paid out of his own pocket for the victimized man to be cared for at an inn. Jesus’ story illustrates that love and compassion are not free. It will cost something to be compassionate to those in need.

Take a moment today to pray for the grace to expend time, talent, and treasure toward those in need.

Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.
Francis Schaeffer

  • David Jeremiah

Love One Another

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35

In the first century, two rabbinic schools of thought held sway among Jewish scholars: the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai. Hillel and Shammai held what might today be called liberal and conservative views (respectively) on matters of the law and practice among Jews. The followers of the two rabbis were known by their adherence to the two teachers’ views. It was common for first-century rabbis to have followers (disciples) whom they taught and who promulgated their teachings.
Jesus was often referred to as Rabbi (or Teacher) by His disciples and followers (Mark 9:5; 11:21) as well as by others who observed His role as a teacher (John 3:2). Jesus expressed His followers’ responsibility to spread His teachings when He commissioned His disciples to teach others “to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). But more than any teaching, He told them there was a trait that would mark them as His disciples: “love for one another” (John 13:35).

Love is the best way to reveal Christ to a loveless world. Through an unexpected act of love, show others Whom you follow.

If we love God we’ll love His children.
A. W. Tozer


  • David Jeremiah

Do No Harm

Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:10

From Moses to Jesus to Paul—the thread of love runs through Scripture. Moses’ Ten Commandments were about loving God (the first four commandments) and loving others (the remaining six commandments) (Exodus 20:1-17). When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said to love God. The second? Love others (Matthew 22:34-40). And in his instructions on personal relationships, Paul said there was one way to fulfill the law: love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Romans 13:10).
It is fascinating to consider that something as complex as the Old Testament law can be summarized in one simple word: love. Paul affirmed Moses’ (Leviticus 19:18) and Jesus’ (Matthew 19:19) measure for how to love others: as we love ourselves (Romans 13:9). Paul reminds us that no right-thinking person would harm himself. Therefore, we must love others the same way—by doing no harm. Long before doctors were taught to do no harm, Christians were taught to do no harm to a neighbor.

If we hurt or harm another person by word or by deed, we have not loved that person. Purpose today to love all others as you love yourself.

If my heart is right with God, every human being is my neighbor.
Oswald Chambers

  • David Jeremiah

Sing to One Another

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:19 
Paul wrote two parallel verses about the use of songs and hymns for the edification of believers: Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. In Ephesians, Paul wrote, “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” But in Colossians, he used the stronger word “admonish”—“admonishing one another.” “Speaking” in Ephesians, but “admonishing” in Colossians. One thing is the same in both: “one another.” There is great power in spiritual hymns and songs that contain biblical truth. When we sing (speak) together and give attention to the words, they can instruct and admonish us just as they can when we read them in the Bible or biblically-based books.
This is yet another reason to be a singer of spiritual songs, especially when worshiping with others. Let your heart follow the words and be shaped by them.

A debtor to mercy alone, of covenant mercy I sing.
Augustus M. Toplady

  • David Jeremiah

Strength to Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

These two little verses actually come from the greeting Paul is bringing to the Corinthian church at the beginning of the letter he is sending them. Back in those days, this kind of a flattering and, if I may say so, flowery greeting was customary. Today we might say that it checks a box in the stylebook of that day for a proper letter, and as readers we might just tear through the greeting to get to the meat of the letter. Yet, if we were to simply zip through these verses to get to the good part, we would be doing ourselves a great disservice.

Please, take a minute and read through them again, more slowly this time.


Paul is giving praise to the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Don’t we all need compassion and comfort at times? I think we all do, even if we don’t like to talk about such things. He continues with this little gem: who comforts us in all our troubles. Do you have any troubles that God cannot bring comfort to help you through? Do you have anything troubling you right now as you read this? If so, the God of all comfort is there with you… pretty amazing if you think about it.


Read more:

The People We Christians Have the Hardest Time Loving. Thinking Through John 13:34-35