People. All those other beings that we share the planet with. How do you look at them? If you’re a people person like my wife, then you look at others as a gift. You find the value in others and would like nothing better than to spend your day with as many friends as possible. Others look at people as a tool. They use those around them to get what they want. Still others are solitary individuals, walking through life in their own little world, oblivious of those around them.
I would propose that as we walk through life we should develop a new attitude for people, one which Jesus adopted when he was on earth. Jesus was definitely a people-person, one who saw the value in everyone he met. But more than just meeting the needs of others, he loved what we cannot see in others… their soul. Unlike some of us who are polite and concerned with those we know or easily get along with, Jesus showed love to all. It’s amazing how we humans think we’re such good judges of the heart. We like to decide who deserves our love and who doesn’t. But Jesus didn’t look at others that way. He loves all of us whether we deserve it or not. He loved the people who wholeheartedly followed him as much as the ones who would deny him. He cared for the sinner’s soul more than the opportunity to condemn them.
If we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we must have his attitude towards others. Colossians 3:12 reminds us, “…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” The words “forgive” and “love” are added later on in the passage. Did you notice something about all of those words? They are all people related. They are all ways that we can change our attitude for people. It’s pretty obvious what effect we would have if we daily wore these Christian graces. Just the act of forgiveness would drastically change our world. And, when taken together, these attributes help us to show the love that God shows us every day.
Let’s begin to see people around us in a different way. Let’s begin to fulfill the greatest command of loving God by loving others. It’s what we were created to do.