"Do unto others as you would have done unto you." -- The Golden Rule
"Whatever you have not done for the least of these, you have not done it unto me."---Jesus
Kindness begets kindness.
And the greatest of these is love.....
It's easy to love the lovable. I smile at the lady at the grocery store. I wave at the man who drives his truck down our road. I chat with my friends. People that look an act like me...people that love me back.
God calls me to more than that. So many times there is no real effort on my part to step out of my comfort zone. Sure, I like to think I am a good person. That I go the extra mile for people. But do I? Really? If I am completely honest with myself, I have to admit that no, I don't. It's difficult. It could be messy at best...and painful at worst. I don't have the time for this. But, that would be a lie. I always make time for what is important to me.
When most people think of prejudice, I believe they think of skin color. But, really there is so much more to prejudice then that. Honestly, skin color is not even on my radar map. That particular thing is not something that I, personally, have any issue with. And that is the truth. But that is not all there is.
Do I have preconceived notions (prejudices) about the unmarried woman with five kids, all by different fathers? Do I believe Jesus loves her any less than He loves me? What about the young man dressed all in black who looks scary? Did Christ die in his place? Or the man who claims there is no God? Who is angry because his child has to say "one nation under God" at school? Or the woman who buries herself in buying her "things" because she is empty inside? And lately, what about the people who disagree with me on politics? How do I treat these people? Do I love them with Christ's love? Or do I show my prejudice? I can't deal with "these" people. They are a mess. I don't want to get "dirty". I don't care what they think. They're wrong........and with that, my own prejudice echoes back to me. And it isn't pretty.
Yesterday I was convicted about my attitude....about how I need to change my thinking. The lady with five kids? Maybe she is looking for love in all the wrong places, because she's never known the love of her Heavenly Father? Maybe the boy dressed in black is, in his own way, desperately trying to make a statement that he is HERE. "I'm not invisible. Look at me! Please SEE me." The atheist who is fighting against God is a man on a sinking ship...and the One who can rescue him is the One he fights against, the wealthy woman with all the things in her closet might be the same woman who looks in the mirror and never feels worthy enough....because she looks at herself with the world's eyes, and not with the eyes of her Heavenly Father, who sees her potential, and one for whom He died.
We all live in a fallen world. Life is not easy. There are people that need a friend. A mentor. A confidant. Someone who will share the burden with them. Someone who will look past the facade to see the person. Someone who will take the time to build relationships....and step out of her comfort zone.
Jesus looked on people with compassion. He was never afraid to get dirty. He talked with the highest scholars of his day as well as the shunned of society. He wasn't afraid of tax collectors. Or lepers. Or the disabled. He loved the unlovable. The prostitutes. The possessed. The lonely.
My prayer needs to be, "Lord, help me to see others as you see them. Allow me to be your hands and feet. Love them through me. Amen."