<<fellow humans>>

Allow other people into your life – you need them and they need you as we grow in social skills by interacting with others. God made us to be interdependent, not independent. We can’t discover ourselves by ourselves – we need interaction with others, to encourage,

We grow through relationships

nurture, challenge, hold us accountable and believe in us, as we in turn lovingly reciprocate – either to them or someone else. Do our words build others up or tear them down? (Eph 4:29). Are others blessed by us – benefiting by our relationship, gaining renewed hope, and believing in what they can become? This helps empower them to be what God has called them to be. We should treat each other as important, with each relationship having a significant potential in the purposes of God (Mt 25:34-45). We are to only worship God, yet we serve God by serving others.

Being outward-focused is the cure for selfishness and depression. “Look not only to your own interests but also to what others are doing” (Phil 2:4). The Bible’s message is “Do to others what you would they do to you” (Lk 6:31). Often referred to as the Golden rule, this is the outworking of the second command as Jesus stated it, “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mk 12:31). Love is a practical caring and acting uprightly, responding to the real needs of another (Lk 10:30-37; Jas 2:15,16). Follow the example of Jesus who entered into our predicament and died in our place, "the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God" (1 Pet 3:18). Practical compassion is the over-riding characteristic and motivation of this care that encompasses areas such as forgiveness (Mt 6:14,15; Col 3:13), honouring others (Rom 12:10), loving each other deeply (Jn 13:34,35; Col 3:14), patiently accomodating their annoying querks (Eph 4:2), offering encouragement (1 Thes 5:11), and praying for others (Jas 5:16).

It was when Job, who was improvised by the calamities that were allowed to touch him reached out to those around him that "the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as before... And he also had seven sons and three daughters" (Job 42:10,13). As we build others up we too will become better, more complete people; conversely if we don’t enrich others we will impoverish

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle

ourselves (Prov 11:24,25). Do I actively endeavour to have significant input into others or am I selfishly motivated?

We have the opportunity to be perfected by the challenges of life and imperfections of others if we respond in a godly manner (Gal 5:22,23). How do I view and respond to these potentially beneficial character forming events that come courtesy of our fellow humans (Rom 5:3-5; 1 Pet 1:6,7)?

See also: benevolence, friends/friendship, golden rule, love, outward focused, people, relationships, self, selfishness.