19 May 2014
Jesus said “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” Luke 6:31.
It’s now become such a common saying that most people have come across and applied it in their lives. But today i was challenged to apply this deeper in how i thought about other people and their differences.
We often use the verse to mean we should be kind and good to everyone because that is how we would also like to be treated. But when it comes to ideologies, beliefs and lifestyles that are different from me, or worse, that i do not agree with, the verse “Treat others the same way you want them t treat you” can become more challenging.
Our pastor gave a fantastic sermon this past Sunday about accepting others who are different from us. To accept in the greek, means to draw in and welcome.
To me, this verse and the notion of acceptance requires me to treat those who differ from me and whom i may disagree with as my own flesh and blood. I thought, what if they were not just strangers, but my own children? If they were my own, i would probably want to spend some time to listen – to really listen, to hear them out and their struggles, to understand the difficulties and reasons for being or thinking differently even if i do not agree with them. If they were my own children, i would not simply listen for the sake of pretending to be listening, and what they said and felt would matter to me because they matter to me. It’s a simple rule, but it’s not always that simple to apply. But as i thought about some of the more controversial topics such as the gay and transgender protests today and spoke about them with my wife, applying this verse made me think more carefully and made what would simply have been headline news, something that i would take the time to consider thoughtfully.
Lord Jesus, i pray that when i am challenged by others who i do not agree and where differences can divide us, that i can remember that they are also your children, and you also ask me to treat them as my own. Help me to see them in love and speak to them in love.