Saturday, June 9, 2012
by Bruce Brady
Amazingly, the self-help gurus tell us the key to success and the best way to get what we want is to help others get what they want. I wonder where they got that idea?
Lately I’ve witnessed a lot of people behaving as if they were entitled to special treatment. They display this perceived entitlement by treating others as inferior people and talking down to them. It amazes me that many of us have come to believe the best way to get respect from others is to demand it. Yet, our human nature causes us to resent and even lash out at those who demand anything from us. So how can we justify mistreating others to get what we want?
In Matthew 5:7, Jesus says, “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” There is no mention of God rewarding those who insist on having things their way. We’re foolish if we expect others to love us when we our actions display disrespect and contempt for them. God very clearly teaches that to get what we want; we must first give others the love and respect they want.
Our call is not to half-heartedly follow Christ in order to obtain our selfish desires, it’s to truly serve others as a way of demonstrating our total commitment to living the life Jesus lays out for us. We are to display the merciful love of Christ toward everyone. It’s okay to hate poor behavior and misguided beliefs, but we must love all people as Jesus does. Rather than condemn, He lovingly corrects our sinful actions, and instructs us to interact with others in this same manner.
Throughout our day, we will encounter people who are behaving poorly. When we do, let’s remember that God loves them as much as He loves us and respond with love and kindness. Doing so will not only disarm them; it will also please our Father.