by Rick Warren

One skill that we don’t seem to walk away with from our kindergarten class is how to play nicely with others. But it’s one of the most important skills to learn if you are going to be a happy person. If you don’t work well with other people, you are going to be unhappy much of your life.

What do you need to learn in order to work with other people?

First, you must learn to cooperate with others.

Epaphroditus was a man that the church in Philippi sent to Rome with a gift of financial support for Paul while he was in prison. Philippians 2:25 says, “I feel that I must send Epaphroditus — my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier — back to you. You sent him as your personal representative to help me in my need” (GWT). By calling Epaphroditus his brother, coworker, and fellow soldier, Paul was saying that life and ministry is a family, it’s a fellowship, and it’s a fight.

The church is the family of God. We are brothers and sisters with the people we minister and worship with and we should treat them as such. It’s also a fellowship, where we work and serve together with a common goal — the Great Commission. You are in the same fight together against Satan and you need to support each other. You need to defend and encourage each other.

Second, you need to learn to be considerate.

Paul is speaking of Epaphroditus again in Philippians 2:26 when he says, “He has been longing to see all of you and is troubled because you heard that he was sick.” Notice there are two examples of consideration. Paul is considerate of his co-worker’s homesickness; and, Epaphroditus is considerate about the Philippians’ concern.

This is a key to happiness! The more considerate you learn to be of other people’s needs, doubts, hang-ups and fears, the happier you will be. This works for your marriage, too. If you are inconsiderate, you are going to have an unhappy marriage.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common” (MSG).

Unfortunately, no one is considerate by nature. We tend to think of ourselves first and not the needs of others. “Cultivating a life in common” takes your constant attention, and learning to get along and working well with others takes lots of practice. Like a garden that requires cultivation to bear fruit, you’ll see how your effort bears the fruit of happiness and strong relationships.

Dear Jesus, I praise you for today. Forgive me for not getting along with others. Help me to be more considerate to my family, co-workers and friends. Help me work well with others, being sensitive to their needs. I want to be your grateful servant, show me the way to be your disciple. Amen.

Rick Warren is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century.