Joan Clayton: PNT religion columist
It’s been said, “If you can’t get along with people, move to an isolated island.” What an empty, miserable, selfish life that would be. I’m so glad God made you and me. You and I are unique, a custom-made person by a great God. Think of it … we came from a tiny little cell. In that cell we are all different, the color of our eyes, our talents, our stature and a myriad of characteristics.
The fact that we are all different is a plus. Would it not be ever so boring if we weren’t? Since we are all not the same, getting along with others requires patience, love and understanding.
I’ve often heard my husband say, “Encouraging people is like a hug from God, because it comes back to you.”
Aren’t you glad God made people? I am. You can call me a “people” person. I’m not necessarily a “people pleaser.” I can never compromise my convictions, but I love people. They make the world go ’round. Look at those you love. Aren’t you grateful for them? I’m so glad you are you and I am me and that we have friends and family. They are blessings in our lives.
I learned so many lessons from teaching the “little people.” They worked out disagreements. They could be at “outs” one minute and arm-in-arm the next. The concepts I learned will help you too in your day-to-day contact. Little did my students know I found a scripture to validate each concept. I call it “Second Grade Wisdom:”
1. People make mistakes. Forgive them. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14 KJV).
2. People lose hope. Be encouraging. “But encourage each other every day while it is ‘today.’ Help each other so none of you will become hardened because sin has tricked you” (Hebrews 3:13 NCV).
3. People have pain. Understand them. “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12 NIV).
4. People feel rejected. Accept them. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10 NIV).
5. People get angry. Answer softly. “A gentle answer will calm a person’s anger, but an unkind answer will cause more anger” (Proverbs 15:1 NCV).
6. People are lonely. Befriend them. “A friend loves you all the time, and a brother helps in time of trouble” (Proverbs 17:17 NCV).
7. People are impatient. Count to 10. “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another” (Mark 9:50 KJV).
8. People are hurting. Be compassionate. “We who are strong ought to bear the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1 NIV).
9. People argue. Talk in a whisper. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels” (Proverbs 15:1 TLB).
10. People need love. Love them. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV).
Children became my teacher. They gave me the gifts of faith and love for productive living. Speak life to those who cross your path. Your word becomes the bridge for their success and even your own. The flowers of today are the seeds you planted in all of the yesterdays. Plant good seeds today.
If you can hold someone’s hand or give an encouraging word you are like my husband said, “receiving a hug from God!”