“God’s eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together.” Psalm 33:18-19
While raising us kids, my father was the silent partner in discipline, yet he let it be known he wouldn’t allow disrespect for our mother or for himself. We were to treat them with kindness and love. To get his point across, I once heard him say, “If you talk back to your mother or me, I’ll climb across this table and get you!” Of course, he never had to do this because we respected and feared him.
We are to treat everyone with kindness and respect—the people who wait on us in the grocery store, the scruffy looking homeless person on the curb, teachers, leaders, neighbors, friends, family! There are no exceptions to this rule. My mother jokes, “If you can’t be good, be nice.” I’m not sure what she means by this, because if you are good you will be nice! And, we need to be God-like and respect his creation–humans, plants, and animals.
Think of someone you respect—such as a beloved teacher—and use the same kind of kindness shown him or her to someone you normally ignore because they are “different.” Begin with an act of kindness like saying “Hello.” Or, as I learned in Texas, “Ya doin’ all right?” and watch for their reaction.
Lord, help us see others as you see us. Amen.