Why we should be good to others

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These days, it’s easy to turn on the news or scroll through social media and find hate and disrespect. We are living in a time where old hatreds and hidden racism are suddenly resurfacing. The internet is a platform where ignorance and misinformation spread like wildfire. You can see folks calling each other names and isolating themselves from others who do not look the same, think the same, or have the same faith. That’s where we are today and it’s not difficult to get caught up in arguing and bad behavior. 

We must find it in ourselves to be good to people. Why? We must be good to people because people matter most to God! We all have different opinions and those differences will always exist because we come from different socio-economic backgrounds. However, we cannot share the love of Christ if we are too busy sharing hate and disdain. 

Matthew 7:2 says “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” What I am understanding from this verse more than anything is “treat others as you wish to be treated.” Whatever you project onto the world, the world will project that onto you. My family always said, “You must first give respect if you want respect from others.” We honor God and promote the gospel when we show people respect. That does not mean that they are always going to show us respect. That does not matter because we cannot even begin to talk to a person about salvation through Christ if we had previously disrespected them. Their ears, mind, and heart will be closed to us. When we respect people, we are showing the goodness of God. People are not paying attention to the things that you say. People are paying attention to the things that you do. If your life is demonstrating God’s guidance, people will observe that. A lack of respect demonstrates a lack of God’s guidance in your life. 

How are you expressing your faith? When we go out into the world disrespecting people, we are not expressing our faith well. In fact, we may be turning people away from God! We must express our faith through love. We must love, cherish and respect people because regardless of their opinion, God loves them! We cannot share the love of God if we are too busy sharing animosity. We must express ourselves with love because each of us can be used to expand the kingdom of God when we express love!

When I was in junior high school, there was a boy who saw me get arrested in front of a retail store. He saw the police put my mom and brother in the backseat of the police car. My brother went to foster care and I went to a homeless shelter after that event. This boy would often wait until we were in large crowds of students to ask me questions about that day in front of everyone. I was embarrassed. He was so mean and I was terrified of him. I never had the opportunity to retaliate or be kind. If I came across that young man today, I would have no choice but to be nice to him and even talk to him because your soul is nourished when you are kind. Pray for those who deem themselves your enemy and embrace their malice for God always has the final say. 

Terrance Thomas

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