Getting Along with People God's Way

Posted on: 
March 22, 2022

an appetizer review of the book by John Coblentz used in Team Launch

I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I’d like to keep this book by my side as a handbook on relationships. My favorite chapter was Chapter 9: Peacemaking. John’s down-to-earth way of relating the Biblical principles for peacemaking really struck a chord in my heart, particularly since much of the chapter was pertinent to a situation or two I’ve been dealing with recently. In the section of Chapter 9 called “We Are Called to Find Peaceable Solutions” (pp. 182-189), John develops the following questions that should be asked in our pursuit of peaceable solutions.

  • 1. Are we both right?
  • 2. Are we both wrong?
  • 3. Does it matter?
  • 4. What matters most?
  • 5. Do we need each other?
  • 6. What would Jesus do?

I also deeply appreciated John’s call to hard-working humility in our relationships – understanding that we do NOT know everything, acknowledging that we are all imperfect people, and being committed to working hard through difficult times in relationship until peace is achieved.

Lastly, I appreciated John’s reminder that, while relationships among people are very, very important, they still come in second compared to our relationship to our Creator. In a time when relationships receive a lot of attention in the American church, we must remember that (1) human relationships cannot function well without the foundation of good relationship with God, and (2) when human relationships are prioritized over our relationship with God, a reversal occurs that bears bad fruit.

Below are some quotes from the book that I particularly liked:

“As the law of sin destroys peace with God, so the law of obedience maintains it.” (p. 13)

“…one of the dangers in a controversy is that we too easily form our convictions from what we don’t believe and what we disagree with instead of what we believe and where we agree.” (p. 40)

“Our culture is in trouble. The answers are not always easy. While we were focusing on the dangers of heresy in the last generation, I strongly suspect, we honed our understanding of truth so sharply that we actually devalued our emotions. Having right answers became so important that we allowed a vacuum to develop in our lives. So with the increase of disconnection in our culture, as a church we have been caught ill prepared to care for the hurting.” (p. 40)

“And yet, in all Jesus’ interactions with them, we never find Him attacking the personalities of His disciples. He never said to Peter, for example, ‘Why do you talk so much? If you would learn to keep your mouth shut like Bartholomew, you might learn more!’ Jesus did rebuke His disciples at times, but never as an attack on their personalities.” (Emphasis mine.) (p.76)

“Thus, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a personality clash. …The clashing happens not because we are different, but because we are immature.” (p. 78)

“If spending time with God puts us above the needy, if it makes us more intolerant and judgmental, if we come out of the closet more demanding of others, we are using God instead of truly meeting with Him. …if we are seeking [God] in opposition to someone else, in conflict with a church faction, or in a control battle with a spouse, we may easily have the hidden motivation of winning a conflict instead of the pure motivation of truly knowing God.” (pp. 81-82)

“In general terms, truth sets the standard for what we say, and love sets the standard for how we say it and why.” (p. 114)

Reviewed by RB

Order the book from Christian Light

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10