How to Treat People Well — Morning Devotions – Hope 103.2

How to Treat People Well — Morning Devotions

As we treat others fairly, we are fulfilling something else Jesus told us about. How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with God.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.

By Chris WittsThursday 10 Mar 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 4 minutes

I recently read this quotation which I liked: “Most human problems stem from the fact that we treat people as things and things as people”. How many problems arise because people are not treated properly or fairly.

Relationships can easily disintegrate when this happens, and you may know of situations like this. The cynic says the world would be a wonderful place if it weren’t for people. Do you know what he/she was getting at? It’s all about being sensitive to others, and that’s when the difficulties start. Not everyone gets on with others, and we have misunderstandings and conflict.

Handle with care—they are people

If you’ve moved house, you know what a big job is involved in packing up all your goods in cartons and boxes. I know about that, and sometimes my wife and I have needed to put labels on our boxes that say ‘Handle with Care’ or ‘Fragile’. It’s the same with people.

Why don’t we treat others in the same way? We can be guilty of careless and hasty words, treating others harshly and inappropriately. Mothers used to say to their kids, You must respect others because if you don’t, they won’t respect you. It’s true, even though we don’t hear that advice very much these days. We expect others to show us respect all the time, and yet we can be slow in giving it back. Contrary to what you may have heard, people don’t have to earn respect—I’ll explain what I mean.

Each one of us was created by a loving God, and we are fashioned in the image of God. We read in Genesis 1:27, “So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women”, and the following verse, verse 28, says “God gave them his blessing.” This means we are fashioned in the image of God. When you look into another’s eyes, you are looking at someone special; you are looking at God’s creation.

That alone merits respect. Yes, we need to earn respect with our work, intellect and experience of life but no other human being has to earn your respect for being human. We are all created and loved by our Creator God. In the Old Testament, we hear God saying through the prophet Isaiah, “I have called you by name…to me you are very dear, I love you” (Isaiah 43:1-7).

The Golden Rule

If you spoke to a group of children on this topic, my guess is they would all agree on one thing. They would say it’s important to be kind, thoughtful, patient and loyal in the way we treat each other. It’s something they instinctively know. We each have moral rights, not to be manipulated, controlled or cast away. In other words, what I’m trying to say is we were not designed to look out for number one. Unfortunately, our world has taught us to look out for number one—ourselves. And that’s why marriages fail, relationships fall apart, kids run out of control, and we don’t understand why.

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The reason is that the Bible teaches us to assist others and defer to others above ourselves. When we don’t do it God’s way, things don’t work. That’s why Jesus introduced the golden rule, “Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the law and the prophets are all about” (Matthew 7:12). Then in Luke 6:31 Jesus said: “Treat others just as you want to be treated”. Twice Jesus spoke on this topic, and the whole of the New Testament enforces this concept.

If you went to Sunday School you probably learned the text off by heart Do to others as you would have them do to you. This makes sense because God’s highest interest is in people, you and me. And we should join him in that priority. When Jesus came, he loved people and showed them respect and courtesy—even his enemies. He was a great role model.

“Treat others as you want them to treat you.” (Matthew 7:12 – CEV)

Also in the New Testament is this teaching, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men…” (Hebrews 12:14a). And that’s important too. Even though there’s the thought out there If you are at peace with God, you will be at peace with the people around you. But that’s not always the case. We can’t live at peace with everyone, but we can ‘make every effort’. We can try with God’s help, and he will help us. He’s promised to do that!

As we treat others fairly, we are fulfilling something else Jesus told us about. He said in Matthew 5:16, “Make your light shine so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven”. How we treat others is a reflection of our relationship with God.

We read in 1 Peter 3:8-9 these great words, “Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble. Don’t be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you. Instead, treat everyone with kindness. You are God’s chosen ones, and he will bless you”.