Recognition and Respect of Others
As I walk into the furniture store, I feel like I have just fallen into the Amazon River and am about to be eaten by hungry piranhas. Salespeople everywhere. I can’t sit on a couch, lay on a bed, or even relax on one of those vibrating message chairs without being questioned by a salesman. Now you know what I’m talking about because it’s happened to you. My wife reminds me that these men and women need to make a living, but once, just once, I want to walk in and never see or talk to a furniture salesman. This isn’t asking too much is it?
Have you ever been around someone that absolutely drives you crazy? Someone who’s very voice sends chills down your spine like nails on a chalkboard. It’s the individual that says the complete opposite of what you say every time. You say ‘white’ and they say ‘black’. You say ‘up’ and they say ‘down’. Their presence just drives you crazy. Are you thinking of that person right now? Can you see their face? Is it someone at work? Is it a family member? Is it a former teacher or coach? Is it a furniture salesman? Why is it so hard to be around that person? Is it them? Or is it you?
God actually calls us to love everyone – even the individual that annoys you like no other. Our pastor talked this week about how Jesus instructed us to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. And who is our neighbor? It is everyone. All people are our neighbor. It’s so easy to love those that are like us. We love to recognize and show respect to those who think and act like we do. But God doesn’t tell us to just love the lovable. He commands us to love everyone – our neighbor. Let’s keep our eyes open for opportunities and be men and women of action in loving others – even the furniture salesmen.
Matthew 22:34-40 – But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, help us to love all people like you love them. Help us to make allowances for peoples faults and see what You see in them. Forgive us for being so short-sighted and judgmental over those that are different from us. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”