Jackie Marie Carr

Understanding Others


“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

Proverbs 31:29

In my Sunday school class, I have been talking about the more excellent way. I love that Philippians gives us an outline for how to approve things that are excellent so that so that we can better understand others. 

“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;” (Philippians 1:10)

If we are going to live more excellent lives, we must learn to sincerely love people without offence.

This can be very challenging in relationships and careers as we go about our daily duties. I know that no one is perfect, and we will never completely succeed at not offending people, but it should honestly should be our goal. Jesus says in Matthew 18:7, “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” 

Many times we hurt people by giving our opinions when they are not ready to receive our opinions.

We can offend people by the tone and facial expression that we use. There are so many ways that we can offend simply because we are seeing things through our eyes. It takes much wisdom to be able to step out of your shoes and to see through another’s eyes. This gift of God is called, “understanding.” 

Let me share with you really quickly from Philippians 1 how we can learn to live without offence. 

“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel:” (Philippians 1:12) 

  • If we are going to live without offence, it will come through understanding that people are different.

Everyone has different personalities, and can handle different stresses at different paces.

We should never belittle a person or use comparison in our Christian walk because someone may or may not be at the level of Christianity we think that they should be. 

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We should always be willing to work with people where they are.

  • We must understand that everyone has had their own set of trials and tests that will cause them to think differently in situations than maybe you would. 

The way to make a difference in the lives of others is through compassion.

 “And of some have compassion, making a difference:” (Jude 1:22) I have always heard this statement, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” As I work with my children I try to always keep this in mind. I want to think on their level to win their hearts. As I teach and train them, I want them to know that their Mommy loves them and wants to have fun with them. 

  • I can say this a million times, but we must remember the hard things that we have gone through in life can be used for our good to help touch someone else in their hurting. 

We must trust God to allow Him to continue to work in us even while we are hurting.

Also, not just while we are hurting… But, we have to remember that others are hurting, healing from a hurt, or bearing the scars from a hurt. Job’s friends judged Job harshly whenever he was going through his trials. Sometimes we need to sit back and think about that person we are having difficulty understanding, and realize that the worst possible thing that could have happened to them may have happened to them. We never know what others have gone through. 

So, one of the best ways we can live without offence is through learning understanding.

I always pray and ask the Lord for wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and discretion. When we have understanding and use it in our relationships, we can truly make a difference in the people we care about. 

I hope these thoughts from Philippians 1 have helped to inspire you in your relationships with others as much as they have me. 

Love, Jackie