26 February 2017
All kinds of people
‘Live in harmony with one another.’
Romans 12:16 NIV
The Bible tells us: Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited’ (Romans 12:16 NIV). Another way of saying this is that we shouldn’t look down on others, but always try to get along with people, no matter who they are. God simply asks us to treat everyone with respect, and do our best to live in harmony with them. That’s not always easy. We can get impatient when others don’t think or act the same way we do. We might find ourselves looking down on others who are different from us. It takes a lot of maturity to get along with absolutely everyone, and it’s a difficult thing to do. One thing that’s helpful to keep in mind is that we don’t have God’s insight on things; we can’t see what’s in other people’s hearts.1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us: ‘People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’ (NIV). When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our position in life, or how much money we’ve got, or the job we do. He sees what’s in our heart. He sees our inner, hidden feelings. Jesus ministered to all kinds of people, from tax collectors and prostitutes to teachers and noblemen. They were all vastly different. But the thing they had in common was that they recognised God, and had hearts that were open to Him. The person we’re tempted to judge because of their outward appearance or their lifestyle might actually have a stronger faith and trust God more than we do. We don’t know what God’s working on inside others, we’re just called to treat them with respect and love, just like Jesus would.
Whenever you pass anyone in the street/corridor, etc., think to yourself ‘God is at work in him’, ‘God is at work in her’.