Recently I have been pondering how we treat one another. There are so many ways we mistreat people. Not just in the broader sense of society but daily in what can seem insignificant interactions. A person who is standing in the checkout lane before us trying to corral rambunctious children, a driver who perhaps cuts us off in transit, or the waiter or waitress serving us. So often we do not cherish or value these people because we have ascribe some judgement or expectation to them at which they have somehow failed. Sadly we often walk through our days seeing others through an incorrect filter. We measure them against an unfair measure. We attempt to fit them into some classification which more often than not allows us to elevate our concept of how we measure up against them.
God never intended us to measure ourselves against anyone else. He has knit each person together in a fashion all their own. Each a perfect reflection of His nature. Have you ever considered that each person who walks the earth is a reflection of Him? Each one is a child uniquely fashioned for His purpose. So often we ascribe the term child of God to those who are Christian and have accepted the wonderful gift of salvation but the truth is every person is a child of God. Some of us have been graced with the revelation of His love and others have not yet seen or been able to receive it and walk in relationship with the One who loves them. There in lies the only difference and it doesn’t preclude the fact that they are as deeply loved as the rest.
If we have been blessed to have this revelation and to receive His gift of relationship how much more should we then love those around us. Often we conjoin love with approval and we allow that to build walls among us which can lead to bitterness and anger. The church must learn to be an extension of His love, to long for others to know Him not so they “get their lives right “ or change in some way we deem acceptable. It is not by our actions that our lives align with His holiness but by experiencing the consuming love of Jesus. When we finally realize and experience His devoted love and sacrifice it will change us because of the amazing grace and mercy that is extended to us. It is the place of friendship that He offers that brings love to the forefront.
Let’s us set aside the measuring sticks and expectations and put on love. When we begin to love the driver who cuts us off, the parents in line at the store, the lost, downtrodden and distraught what wonderful things can happen. If we handle with care those whose paths we cross how different would the world be. It is not our job to judge other people, their lives or any sin in it. It is our job to love them as a child of God for that is exactly what they are.
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:15-17