We live in a world of hatred and disrespectfulness. You just have to turn on the TV or go online and sooner or later, you’ll find people who are just rude, mean, and grumpy.
That’s just the reality we live in. However, that doesn’t mean that we also should live that way. As Christians and followers of the true Messiah, Yahshua or popularly known as Jesus Christ, we are called to treat everyone with love and respect.
Why? That’s what I’m going to talk about today. In this blog, let me share the 3 important biblical reasons why you should treat everyone with kindness, love and respect.
Video about treating people with kindness
In this video, let me share with you the important biblical reasons why you should treat others with kindness, love, and respect.
The story of the wooden plate
Once there was an old man who moved into the house of his son’s house. The old man was frail and weak. He often spills food and water on the table and on the floor. What’s more, he has already broken a lot of plates. His son and daughter-in-law couldn’t take it anymore. So, they made the old man eating alone in the corner and they gave him a wooden bowl so that he won’t break any plates anymore.
The old man, who couldn’t do anything about it, just accepted his fate and ate his food in tears. The couple has a son who just watched everything in silence.
One night, the son was playing with blocks of wood. The son’s father and mother saw how busy their son was. This made them curious and so they asked, “Son, what are you doing?” To which the son replied, “I’m making a wooden plate.” The parents asked, “Why?” The Son then said, “These wooden plates are for you. So that when you are old like grandpa, you have something to use when you eat alone.”
How do we treat others?
After hearing this story, brethren, I want to ask you an important question, “How are we treating other people? Are we treating others with love, dignity, and respect? Or, are we treating others with hate, disrespect, and indifference?”
You might not think this is a big issue for you. You might say, “Oh, I treat others right. I don’t disrespect anybody. I’m not rude to anyone.” Yes, that might be true, brethren, however, when we become angry, when we don’t know a person, when we are filled with negative emotions, we might forget to become good to others and that’s when the problem starts.
Reason no. 1: God commands us to treat others with kindness
We must always bear in mind that being loving, kind, and merciful is what Yahweh expects from us. We read in John 13:34-35:
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Also, we read in Ephesians 4:32:
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
As you can see, brethren, we all must be kind to one another. That should be our default attitude and mindset. You are not rude, grumpy, and irritated. When you see someone who needs help and you know you have the ability to help, then you go out there and help. You don’t wait for others to tell you. You actively look around and see what else you can do.
Reason no. 2: We must be kind to all
However, brethren, being good to others is easier when they are also good to us. Being good to others when we know them. Being good to others is easier when we can get something in return. Isn’t that right, brethren?
Yet, what do we read in the Scripture, brethren? We read in Matthew 5:43-45:
43 “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
This tells us brethren that we must be good even to our enemies. If God expects us to be good even to our enemies, then it follows that we should also be good to those whom we don’t know.
Yet, that’s not always what happens, brethren. We simply just select whom we will respect. There are those people who would have greater respect for people who look rich.
I remember when we were trying to look for a car for the first time, I approached a sales agent in the mall. I was just wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and dusty closed slippers. The sales agent wasn’t that enthusiastic to talk to me. But when this guy, who is in better clothes than me walked in, he was all energetic, showing the inside of the car, explaining the latest features, in all that.
I also remember a story about an old man who went to a car dealer. He mentioned that he wasn’t entertained. So, he went to another car dealer in which he bought a car in cash.
That’s actually understandable since that’s how human nature works. We based how we react on what we see and what we feel. However, as Christians and followers of the Messiah, we are held to a higher standard.
We must treat everyone with respect no matter how they look, no matter whether they are rich or poor, whether they are young or old, whether they can pay us back for our kindness or not, whether they are our friends or enemies, whether they are someone we know or someone we don’t know.
Reason no. 3: We are made in the image of God
One important reason why we should treat everyone with the same respect and kindness is found in Genesis 1:27:
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Did you read that brethren? Every single person in this room, every single person you meet, every single person on this earth is created in the image of God.
Look at your seatmate, look at your wife or husband, and look at your children, they are made in the image of God. Not only that, brethren, the people you meet outside, the jeepney or taxi driver, the traffic enforcer, the janitor, the beggar in the streets, they are made in the image of God.
This tells us brethren that everyone that we meet deserves to respect no matter who might they be. A person doesn’t have to be good to you for you to respect him.
They say, respect is earned, respect is given to everyone no matter who they are or what they did. Respecting others doesn’t mean you condone their wrongdoing or approve of their sinful activities.
Respecting others means that you realize that even that person was made in the image of God and that he/she has the potential to be part of God’s Family.
Now, because everyone is made in the image of God, we must realize that whatever sin we commit to others, we also commit it to God. Joseph, the son of Jacob, knew this. When Mrs. Potiphar tried to seduce him and have a sexual relationship with her, what did Joseph say? In Genesis 39:9, we read,
9 He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Did you see that brethren? When we insult others, when we hurt them, when we make them cry, when we take advantage of them, when we shout at them, when we deceive them, when we gossip about them, when we disrespect them, we are actually doing it to God!
Do you see the magnitude of the importance of being kind to others? Any bad thing or sin that we do to others is considered to be a bad thing and sin that we do to Yahweh.
Now, here’s a vital principle that we should remember as well, if the sin that we do to others is considered a sin that we do to God, then it is equally true that the good things that we do to others are also considered the good things we do for God!
We read in Matthew 25:34-40:
34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
What a beautiful teaching from our Messiah. Brethren, when we do good things to others, when we help them in times of their need, when we treat them with love, dignity, and respect, when we lend a hand, even the simplest gesture of kindness like giving them water, opening the door for them, picking up an item dropped by a random stranger, pushing a car because it won’t start, all these things brethren, are the good things you have done not just to others, but to God.
Treat people with kindness
So, in life brethren, we have a choice. We can go through life rude, grumpy, and indifferent or apathetic or we can go through life with love, respect, and kindness.
It’s a choice we have to make every day and it is my sincerest hope brethren that we go out there and make the right decision. Because at the end of our lives, brethren, God and other people will not remember us because of how rich, beautiful, or how big your house is. Others, especially God, will remember how kind, loving, and merciful you are with others.
To end this message, brethren, let me quote once again the words of Yahshua that we should always remember when we treat other people: