What Does The Bible Say About How To Treat Others? A Bible Study

by Derek Hill · Print Print · Email Email

Expressing the love of Christ to others around us is absolutely essential! While some are easier to love than others, we have been commanded to show love to everyone, including our enemies. So how do we as Christians go about shining the light of Jesus to a broken world? Well the Bible has lots to say on how we should treat others, whether they are believers or not. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says on how we should treat others.

Our Christian Brothers/Sisters

Paul throughout His letters shows us his own emotions and I think he hits the nail on the head. Tell your brothers/sisters that you love them. Let them know how much they mean to you as often as you can. Paul says, “For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:8) This is an agape kind of love, an unconditional straight from the heart kind of love. Paul always made it a point to let his brothers/sisters know how much he cared about them. To the Ephesians he said, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:16) Can you imagine how dead churches would come to life if the members acted this way?

"... show some extra love to your brothers/sisters and go out of your way to help an unbeliever whenever you can."

“… show some extra love to your brothers/sisters and go out of your way to help an unbeliever whenever you can.”

With this kind of love, we are also required to hold our brothers/sisters accountable as well. Paul confronts the people of Galatia and says, “You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7) They had deserted the gospel that had been preached to them by Paul and started following a different one. The whole book of Galatians is Paul holding them accountable and encouraging them to forget the gospel of lies they had started believing and to come back to the one true gospel in Christ. If your brother/sister is in sin, hold them accountable and pray for them.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) He was talking directly to His disciples in this passage but the principle applies to all believers. Outsiders will see something different in us when we love how Jesus calls us to.

Unbelievers

Loving on unbelievers is a different story but not a story we are unfamiliar with. For, we all were unbelievers and slaves to the flesh at one point in our lives. Interacting with all unbelievers can be summed up from Colossians: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6) Show them kindness when you speak with them and be attractive (not physically). When you speak, attract them to Jesus. Make them wonder why you have joy.

Enemies

Jesus said, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) Say what!? Yes, we are called to pray for those who persecute us! Here are a few verses that show us how to act towards our enemies.

Luke 6:27-31 – “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

Luke 6:35 – “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”

Luke 6:36 – “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

We are called to do, honestly, the exact opposite of what our human tendencies are. Instead of getting mad and getting even we are to bless our enemies. This is something that is definitely possible for all Christians because we did not deserve Christ’s shed blood on the cross; we deserved the cross ourselves. Because He loved us enough to take our place, we can love people that hate us.

Conclusion

We are all called to love others whether they are our fellow brothers/sisters, unbelievers or enemies. This is all summed up by Jesus: “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) If these 2 commandments are the greatest than we need to follow them! So, I encourage you to show some extra love to your brothers/sisters and go out of your way to help an unbeliever whenever you can. You will plant a seed in their heart that God can grow! May God bless you as you continue to live a life worthy of the calling!

Take a look at this related article: Love One Another

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Goke September 5, 2014 at 12:05 am

Great bible study every christian must engage in.

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Goke September 5, 2014 at 12:13 am

This is a must have Bible study for all christian homes.

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Joy September 20, 2014 at 8:04 am

I always refer to these verses when the question of war comes up. I was in the Army at age 18, but I know that I wouldn’t have gone in had I known of what Jesus answered re: the commandments. My question is always, “how can you love your neighbor as yourself” and purposefully kill another human being? I know this is controversial and I’m still studying the subject…

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Jack Wellman September 20, 2014 at 10:07 am

Thank you Joy for your comment. How can you love your neighbor as yourself and purposefully kill another human being?” If someone came into your home and threatened to kill your family members, then you would not use force to stop them? Are police murderers just because they shoot to kill to save the lives of others? The commandment “thou shall not kill” is literally in the Hebrew “Thou shall not commit murder” and there is a huge difference between killing and murdering. Killing to defend oneself or the lives of others is justified, isn’t it? Murder is different. This is what the Hebrew word means…murder is not like killing to defend life but murder is killing someone who is innocent like ISIS has been murdering (beheading) Western journalists. Even Jesus indicated that there was a time to “And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36b). For more on this from a biblical standpoint please read:
http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/is-it-biblical-to-go-to-war/ I hope this helps Joy. Cris commented on the article saying “To those that do not think it is ever right to go to war. Was it not right to stop Hitler from his extermination of the Jews? Was it not right from stopping Hitler’s attempt to dominate the world? The only way that Hitler was going to be stopped was by defeating him on the battle field. Should it have only been left up to non-Christians to defeat Hitler? No. Christians share the responsibility of confronting evil.”

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Patricia Schneider September 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Hello, Derek!
Another terrific article with Scriptures you’ve written, my precious brother! It makes me happy-chappy to read your articles from God’s Word, as my Bible is my most treasured possession.

Pastor Jack, what an enlightening explanation you gave to Joy (and others who are troubled about having to kill their fellow human beings in war. YES, there IS a huge difference between KILLING to defend and MURDER.) I pray that Joy & other veterans of wars will find the peace only Jesus’ Holy Spirit can give. AMEN!!!

God’s wonderful blessings & His sustaining graces be showered upon you, Derek, your family, and upon EACH person who reads this article!
Forever your Sis in Christ Jesus, love you oodles, Derek ~ Patty

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Abraao November 28, 2016 at 8:04 pm

Brother, sometimes I feel that I should speak more hard, specially about sin. I do not want to be misinterpreted by the unbelievers in relation to sin, for example, I do not want people thinking that I am being lenient towards sin, to be honest, I know that I need to be kind, but sometimes I think I need to be hard, there are some cases in the bible that shows people of God being hard toward unbelievers, for example Steven, my question is, when to act like that and, what does it mean, when the bible say we should have a salt tempered speaking?

Thank you God bless.

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Jack Wellman November 28, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Great question my friend. Thank you for asking it and it’s a good question. I believe being salt tempered is like not having too much salt or being aggressive in our evangelism. The context of the Bible referring to being salted that’s tempered is about being witnesses, so if you add too much salt to a meal, it ruins it, but a bit of salt (tempered) is just right and serves to enhance the flavor (and life) of those around you. Does that make sense sir? I don’t believe we should be hard on unbelievers. However, the Law of God stops the mouth of the sinner. It stops their excuses like “They are a good person”., because, “Now we know that whatsoever things the law says, it says to them who are under the law that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19)…“for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:20). It gives definition of the law: “Sin is transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 ). Paul continues, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid! No, I had not known sin but by the law” (Rom 7:7). “Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24 ). We must preach that the law convicts all as guilty but grace sets free. Amen?

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Fadesomi April 9, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Amazing post. Thank you! Word in season nearly 4 years after. God’s word is always true. ❤️

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