This weekend the group of teenagers and adults that I serve with in our Children’s ministry at church reflected on how we can better reach and influence the children we interact with on Sunday. We had discussion and really reflected together on how we can best do this. As I was sitting in the discussion group the thought came to mind that these principles are not just for dealing with children but really everyone in our lives. This simple truth or lesson is something we should take into all relationships and not just in our closest ones. It’s a truth we likely all know and have heard before. But I know it’s one we all struggle with from time to time and can grow in. I can go as far to admit that this truth encouraged me this weekend.
There have been some people in my life as well as a few clients I’m sure that have exhausted me lately and I know it has shown in my actions, words, and in my thoughts. This fresh perspective gave me a renewed thought process in terms of how I treat people. What would happen if we treated every co-worker, client, business or person like they were made in the image of God? It should make a difference in everything we do. See Leviticus 19:18. Think about it. If we treated everyone (not just the titles mentioned above) like they had the potential to believe, to love, to be kind, to trust, to be trusted, to have value, to improve, to be successful… Then it should change how we treat and relate to them. It shouldn’t matter if they believe what we believe, whether they go to church or not, or even if they are Christians.
It’s as simple as extending the same grace, peace and love to everyone you come across just as though they were made by God and they matter to God. Galatians 6:2 says we are actually called to carry each other’s burdens in order to fulfill the law of Christ. If we treat people this way a lot of things could change… It could change how people view church! It could change how people view their/your business! It could change how people view their community! It could change how people view their job and their purpose! It could change the way people think about themselves!
Most importantly, when we treat the people we touch like they are made in the image of God, it could change the way people think about God and potentially their future. When a person understands they are fully loved by God and made in His image, they tend to look at the world, other people, and themselves in a different light. This one idea can affect… how they make decisions. How they handle money. How they do their job. How they relate to their family. How they relate and care about people. How they trust God.
So if Christians led by example in treating others as if they were worth the blood of Christ , we could profoundly affect the lives of others and their future, and maybe even the place they will spend eternity! If there is at least one thing we all have in common and want in life it is to be loved and accepted and to genuinely feel it. We can do this by treating people like they were made in the image of God and Christ Jesus. (Romans 13:10) The result of this is that we will cultivate stronger relationships and deeper faith. We will point the lost to Jesus.
There are many examples in the Bible where Jesus stops and takes the time to love the unlovely or give special attention to people or an individual that was overlooked. He had nothing to gain from these interactions except that He pointed many sinners to God. (the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, little children, the sinful woman with perfume, etc.) In Mark 12:31 Jesus instructs us: “You shall LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. There is no commandment greater than these.” Jesus actually claimed that “all the law and prophets hang on this commandment.” (Matthew 22:40, Galatians 5:14) So what if we simply decided to organize how we live our life, how we do business internally and externally, and how we run our homes the way Jesus said it’s to be done? What if we break down our every action and word this week on what Jesus said matters most? Love. Other correlating scriptures…
- Matthew 7:12
- Matthew 19:19
- John 13:34
- Romans 13:8-10
- James 2:8
- James 4:11
Doubling back to how and why this truth encouraged and renewed me… First, I’m very excited about how I have a small role in shaping children in my church community. It’s a privilege that the way I treat them today can have a small piece in shaping their future. Treating kids and everyone else I come across as children of God is an exciting challenge. I want to be so Christ-like in the way that I act and interact with people that it changes people on the inside. That’s my mission simply because it was Jesus’ first.
Charity Fox – Coaching Support & Prayer Specialist