Life is filled with relationships. Whether its your family, friends, or co-workers, getting along with others can be challenging at times.  At some point someone is going to do or say something that will either hurt your feelings or get on your nerves.

How do you respond when those things happen? Do you ignore or avoid them? Do you want or try to get even? Often, our initial response is not what God would want us to do. Paul wrote,

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:13-14, NLT).

The first thing we need to learn to do when getting along with others is tough is to make allowances for their faults. Before rushing to judgment when someone’s annoying habit, harsh words, or inconsiderate action gets under your skin, look in the mirror first. Are you perfect? Do you always treat others the way you want to be treated? Think of one thing you do or say that gets on someone’s nerves. We like to think that we’re perfect; but, no one is. When we recognize our imperfections, it’s easier to make allowances for others faults.

When we begin to see others as God sees us, we can work on forgiving anyone who has offended us. Rather than holding on to the resentment or negative feelings when someone has offended you, learn to forgive them. Take a deep breathe and ask yourself:

  • “What did this person cost me?”
  • “What did this person steal from me?”
  • “What do they owe me?”

Now that you’ve got an idea of the real cost of what they owe you, it’s time to cancel the debt. Write it off. Let it go. Forgive the debt. Don’t make them pay. They don’t owe you a thing. Depending on how deep the hurt, this may be a process you have to go through several times. Remember, getting along with others means that you must forgive others just as God has forgiven you. Think about all of the things you have done to break God’s heart. Think about all of your sins. God paid the debt of your sins with the blood of Jesus Christ. If you want to get along with others, you have to forgive those who offend you.

Finally, learn to love others unconditionally. Accepting them as they are with all of their faults is the final step of getting along with others. This will require you to get out of your comfort zone. It’s not easy to love some people. And love is more than a feeling or saying a few words. You may need to start by saying out loud, “I love him. God help me love him as you do.” This kind of love is expressed in actions. It means that you do things, tangible things that can be seen, felt, and experienced. Getting along with others means serving them; putting their needs before yours.

When you learn to give others a little slack for their annoying actions, forgive them when they offend you, and love them in acts of service, you will be on your way to getting along with others. That will make God smile.