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Our Treatment of Others

Our Treatment of Others (and his donkey)



The Bible is "THE” book of relationships with God and with one another. Jesus taught that you cannot maintain one without the other. "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."  Matt 6:14-15 God and God alone sets forth the order in which both human relationships and a relationship with the Divine are maintained. I have organized the human relationships into four categories. Consider these;  

            #1. Our treatment of our Enemies. As Jesus sets forth the terms for relationships with our enemies, He lays a foundation for all relationships. "Christ's Universal Law of Kindness" in which Jesus says, “… love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. THAT you may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven…Matt 5:44-45. To be considered a child of God, one must treat his enemies as Jesus demands. A tall but achievable order!

Under God’s law through Moses, your enemy’s property is to be regarded as if it were your own. Yes, even your enemy’s donkey when discovered “…lying under its burden…” was worthy of our assistance, Exo. 23:4-5. And furthermore, we are forbidden from rejoicing at our enemies downfall, "Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles" Prov 24:17. Remember, there may be Bible commands regarding the extent to which we have relationships with them, but the kind of treatment we extend our enemies is not an option.

#2. Our treatment of Sinners (or non-Christians.) One would certainly think they are deserving of as good of treatment as our enemy or their donkey, wouldn’t we? Some folks think themselves so righteous as to not associate with sinners at all. However, we learn that our Lord associated with sinners, and with a specific end in mind. Mk. 2:15-17 "…the sick need a physician…" and, "I came to call the lost…" Ours is not a "seek and destroy" mission but rather an extension of what Jesus was sent to do. Jesus felt a deep sense of responsibility to the sinner because of His commitment to the Fathers commission, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." Jo.3:17.  Thankfully, God and Christ do not have the attitude toward sinners as some today. Never assume a person will not be won to Christ.  "go ye" means "go me"

            #3. Our treatment of the Saved. Again, one would certainly think they are deserving of better treatment than our enemy or their donkey, wouldn’t we? After all, we are now considering those whom we expect to spend eternity with. Notice the phrases from Col 3:12-15 that are used to define the Christian’s relationship with one another; "bowels of mercies" this is compassion from the innermost part, "kindness" which is the action part of mercy, "humbleness of mind" which is the characteristic of esteeming others above self, (see Phil 2:3), "meekness" which is gentleness, (mild, not harsh), "longsuffering" means to be long tempered, not easily provoked, "forbearing on another" put up with (endure 2 Thes. 1:4), "forgiving one another" that is to dismiss the blame you may have against another as Jesus did, (Luke 23:34) and finally "charity" (or love) the tie (ligament) that binds it all together. Clearly understand that there is no Bible basis for mal-treatment of your brethren. Neither was Jesus silent on this matter, for He teaches that our treatment of our brethren is our treatment of Him, Matt 25:40

            #4 The Erring & Indifferent. Again, one would certainly think they are deserving of as good of treatment as our enemy or their donkey, wouldn’t we?  How have you (or will you) react when given the opportunity to give them treatment? Will you speak to them? Will you answer them if they speak? Is there a Bible basis for your action or reaction? Remember, there are Bible commands regarding the extent to which we can have a relationship with them, but the kind of treatment we give is not an option. Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

            In most cases where there are strained human relationships, it is not so much the issue that divides and hurts, it is the way we treat one another. Consider your treatment of others in view of God’s word, and the eternal judgment. Think about it.