Developing a New Attitude for People (Originally posted August 29, 2014)
“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.”
I’ve recently returned from a family vacation to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and boy were the crowds insane! I, of course, expected as much considering it was the start of summer break for kids around the country. I never let the crowds bother me though. You have to expect to deal with long lines and irritated tourists at times when visiting a place as popular as Disney.
What it did remind me of though was the post above, which I wrote in 2014, and which mentions the importance of the people around us every day. Each day, whether it be a workday, a weekend day, or a vacation day, we are privileged to share our time on this earth with other people. I say privileged because we must remember that the people we interact with on a daily basis are also creations of our Almighty God. Each and every one of them matter in the mind And heart of God and they should matter to us as well.
Each interaction with another is an opportunity to be a light for the kingdom of God. It’s a chance to show patience and love. It’s an occasion to forgive and minister to their needs. God specifically told us that we are to love the neighbors around us as we would love ourselves. And not just the ones that are lovable. We are to love them with a godly love, even the ones who we feel may not deserve it. Only then can we see others for who they really are… a person of value, created in the image of God.