Have you ever thought about how you would like to be treated? Of course we want to be treated with kindness, sensitivity, and compassion. Would you like people to forgive you for some of the thoughtless or inappropriate things you’ve said or done? Do you want them to understand that those “in the heat of the moment” thoughts and actions are not who you really are? Would you like them to allow you to just be yourself?
If you answer is “yes” to all of the above then consider this: is this how you treat them?
I would like to say that I treat others with the same love and compassion that I want to be treated with, however I find myself failing from time to time.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 7:12
This verse is probably one of the most quoted passages of the Bible. Unfortunately, it is often used when someone sees negative consequences from negative actions. “See,” we taunt, “do unto others…” And we completely miss the point. Most of us don’t treat people well most of the time. We think we do by focusing on what we don’t do.
We do not yell at them.
We are not rude to them.
Although we may not be listening, we are polite enough to keep quiet and nod while they talk.
Christ, however, challenges us to the higher path of doing. Instead of simply not being rude to your husband, you could buy him a gift to remind him of how much you appreciate and love him. Instead of politely being quiet as your friend is telling you a story that you’ve heard before, you could actually listen to what she is saying. And the hardest of all, instead of ignoring the friend who hurt you deeply, reach out to them to see how they are doing.
There is no doubt that this kind of behavior cannot be manufactured; it is the kind that can only come from a life that is immersed in the love of God. God can teach us how to love like him.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it does not keep records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
I want to love like Christ loves. Without blame or selfishness. Without fault or impatience. I want to treat my husband, my girlfriends, my co-workers, my family, my children, my church the way God teaches in his Word. I want to love right.
God, consistently loving and treating people with kindness and patience takes effort. There are times when we don’t want to love because of past hurts, and there are times when we are just lazy. Help me learn from you; I know I could never do it on my own. I pray for forgiveness when I fail and I pray for strength and the discipline to get it right. Amen.