In my last Sister2Sister I fully intended to write about our attitude toward our fellow man. I got side-tracked with our world-view due to growing so weary with the worldliness of the world! I want to narrow down our view to specific people.
Have you ever gone into a new situation, such as moving to a new town, a new church, or a new job? You start off thinking things are going to be different here. These people don’t know how I was treated in my last town, church, or job. These people are going to really like me, and I shall have many friends and be very successful. Before you know it, you begin to run into some of the same problems you had at your last town, church, or job. The circumstances may have changed, but you had not changed. You took yourself with you! Funny when we try to figure out what went wrong, we don’t consider that we could possibly be the problem. We forget to look inward instead of outward. It is always someone else’s fault. We neglect to “own up” to the possibility that we may have a quirk that irks. It is always good to “renew our minds that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We should never stop growing into the image of Christ. That may not make us popular, but we will have peace with God, and God will be able to use us for His glory.
The direction I want us to take a look at though is not how people view us, but how we view people. Personally, we all want to be understood, and for people to accept us, warts and all. However, we are often quick to sum up a person and either put them on our “like” list, or “don’t like, ain’t gonna bother with ‘em” list. This is an ungodly and immature approach to our relationships. The Bible says in Romans 12:18 to “live peaceably with all men.”
As a Christian trying to please our Savior, we are to show love one to another, in honor preferring one another. Sometimes a relationship with someone may start out fine, but then one day something happens. You can’t believe they said that to you, or perhaps there is jealousy over something. Perhaps that person took control of a situation that you were supposed to be in charge of. Any number of things – insignificant to the objectionable by-stander – can happen. The “cat” in you springs to action, defences go up and so do the fences. You may not be openly rude, you may just keep your distance because of something that didn’t set right with you. You sit on the opposite side of the church or cafeteria from the offending party.
Can a Christian get away with that attitude? Is it godly? Can you be right with God when you have such a strong grudge against someone? In our heads, we know the answer is no, but putting a Christ-like spirit into action takes real character. Romans 12:16 says, “be not wise in your own conceits.” Love as Christ loved, be charitable to your family, church family, co-workers, neighbors, servers, cashiers…..
Don’t write people off. Jesus doesn’t. He was a friend of sinners. Imagine his relationship with his disciples. That always brings a smile to my lips. They did not understand who He was really until they had the Holy Spirit to reveal it to them, but He was so patient with them. Everyone was not raised the same as you, have the same opportunities as you, think like you, smell like you, eat what you eat. We are all individuals. Romans 12:16, “Be of the same mind one toward another.” Honor Christ by honoring your fellow man. Your life is always richer when you live God’s way. Is there someone you need to give another chance? Think about it!