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Human Relationship



Faults are like the headlights of a car: those of others seem more glaring than your own. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Janine Brooks was a dental student when a man ran into her car and drove away.  That was 10 years ago.  Her damaged car resulted in a considerable financial burden on her student income but the motorist neither apologized nor ever paid for the damage he had done until now.  Now it is 10 years later.  Janine Brooks, the former student, is now a dentist and guess who came to her office needing a tooth to be pulled?  He did not recognize her; she did recognize him.  She told him it wouldn't hurt; she lied. -- Associated Press  4-9-90


Love for Enemies

In the Shapra Indian tribe of Peru, and interesting event occurred. In this South American tribe, who once were headhunters, Christ has made a difference in those who became believers. One man used to kill his enemies when he captured them. After his conversion, he would hold them captive and teach them Scripture for three weeks!— Cited by Herbert Fuqua, missionary to Peru


Friendliness to Enemies

The Civil War had just ended, and the opportunistic scalawags were busy lording it over their fellow Southerners. A hot-blooded contingency of die-hard former rebels gained an audience with President Lincoln. His gentle, friendly manner soon thawed the ice, and the Southerners left with a new respect for their old foe. A northern congressman approached the president and criticized him for “befriending the enemy,” suggesting that instead of befriending them he should have had them shot for the traitors they were. Lincoln smiled and replied, “Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends?” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Friendliness of Enemies

While still a young boy, a certain Christian formed the habit of praying beside his bed before he went to sleep. Later, when he joined the army, he kept up this practice, though he became an object of mockery and ridicule in the barracks. One night, as he knelt to pray after a long, weary march, one of his tormentors took off his muddy boots and threw them at him one at a time, hitting him on each side of his head. The Christian said nothing, took the persecutor’s boots, put them beside the bed, and continued to pray. The next morning, when the other soldier woke up, he found his polished and shined boots sitting beside his own bed. It so affected him that he asked for forgiveness and after a time became a Christian. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching


Response to Evil

A certain man purchased a paper at a newspaper stand. He greeted the newsman very courteously, but in return received gruff and discourteous service. Accepting the newspaper, which was rudely shoved in his face, the customer politely smiled and wished the newsman a nice weekend. A friend observed all of this and asked, “Does he always treat you so rudely?”

“Yes, unfortunately he does.”

“And are you always so polite and friendly to him?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Why are you so nice to him when he is so rude to you?”

“Because I don’t want him to decide how I am going to act.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Mohandas K. Gandhi was the leader of the Indian nationalist movement against British rule and considered the father of his country. He is internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolence to achieve political and social progress.

Gandhi says in his autobiography that in his student days he was truly interested in the Bible. Deeply touched by reading the Gospels, he seriously considered becoming a convert, since Christianity seemed to offer the real solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. One Sunday, he went to a nearby church to attend services. He decided to see the minister and ask for instruction in the way of salvation and enlightenment of other doctrines. But when he entered the sanctuary, the ushers refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go and worship with his own people. Gandhi left and never came back. “If Christians have caste differences also,” he said to himself, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Alexander de Seversky, U.S. aviator and engineer, was once visiting a fellow flyer in the hospital. The young man had just lost his leg. De Seversky, who had had an artificial leg for some time, tried to cheer him up. "The loss of a leg is not so great a calamity," he said. "If you get hit on a wooden leg, it doesn't hurt a bit! Try it!" The patient raised his walking stick and brought it down hard on de Seversky's leg. "You see," he said cheerfully. "If you hit an ordinary man like that, he'd be in bed for five days!" With that he left his friend and limped into the corridor, where he collapsed in excruciating pain. It seems the young man had struck de Seversky on his good leg!── Today in the Word, October 29, 1992.



In The Grace of Giving,  Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil-minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor.

"No, Peter," General Washington said. "I cannot grant you the life of your friend."

"My friend!" exclaimed the old preacher. "He's the bitterest enemy I have."

"What?" cried Washington. "You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in different light. I'll grant your pardon." And he did.

Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephrata--no longer an enemy but a friend.── Lynn Jost.



Nothing is easier than faultfinding: no talent, no self-denial, no brains, and no character are required to set up in the grumbling business. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.— Henry W. Longfellow



A good neighbor is one who will watch your vacation slides all evening without telling you that he has been there too. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Suspicion enters by the door through which love and trust exit. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



To entertain some people, all you have to do is listen. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching



Leonard Syme, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California at Berkeley, indicates the importance of social ties and social support systems in relationship to mortality and disease rates. He points to Japan as being number one in the world with respect to health and then discusses the close social, cultural, and traditional ties in that country as the reason. He believes that the more social ties, the better the health and the lower the death rate. Conversely, he indicates that the more isolated the person, the poorer the health and the higher the death rate. Social ties are good preventative medicine for physical problems and for mental-emotional-behavior problems. 

Martin & Diedre Bobgan, How To Counsel From Scripture, Moody Press, 1985, p. 18.

If you think your family has problems, consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London recently wed Edna Harvey. She happened to be his granddaughter's husband's mother. That's where the confusion began, according to Baker's granddaughter, Lynn.

"My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother. My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law. My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew. But even crazier is that I'm now married to my uncle and my own children are my cousins." 

From this experience, Lynn should gain profound insight into the theory of relativity. 

Campus Life, March, 1981, p. 31.

We can live only in relationships. We need each other. A rather crude and cruel experiment was carried out by Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the thirteenth century. He wanted to know what man's original language was: Hebrew, Greek, or Latin? He decided to isolate a few infants from the sound of the human voice. He reasoned that they would eventually speak the natural tongue of man. Wet nurses who were sworn to absolute silence were obtained, and though it was difficult for them, they abided by the rule. The infants never heard a word -- not a sound from a human voice. Within several months they were all dead. 

Joe E. Trull.

The Carnegie Technological Institute has stated that 90% of all people who fail in their life's vocation fail because they cannot get along with people. 

Lloyd Perry, Getting the Church on Target,  Moody, 1977.

On Getting Along With People

The SIX most important words:

"I admit I made a mistake."

The FIVE most important words:

"You did a good job."

The FOUR most important words:

"What do you think?"

The THREE most important words:

"After you please."

The TWO most important words:

"Thank you."

The ONE most important word:


The LEAST important word:



Source Unknown.


Ten Commandments of Human Relations

1. Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.

2. Smile at people. It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile.

3. Call people by name. Music to anyone's ears is the sound of his/her own name.

4. Be friendly and helpful.

5. Be cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do is genuinely a pleasure, and if it isn't, learn to make it so.

6. Be genuinely interested in people. You can like almost everybody if you try.

7. Be generous with praise, cautious with criticism.

8. Be considerate with the feelings of others. There are usually three sides to a controversy: yours, the other fellow's, and the right one.

9. Be alert to serve. What counts most in life is what we do for others.

10. Add to this a good sense of humor, a big dose of patience, and a dash of humility, and you will be rewarded manifold through life. 

Adapted from the Bible Tract Bulletin.

Single men are jailed more often, earn less, have more illnesses and die at a younger age than married men. Married men with cancer live 20% longer than single men with the same cancer.

Women, who often have more close friendships than men, survive longer with the same cancers. Married or not, relationships keep us alive. 

Dr. Bernie Siegel, Homemade, May, 1989.