A Beautiful Life Excerpt
In Kerry Clarensau's book, A Beautiful Life, chapter 23 talks about loving God by being good to His children. Kerry states, "When I treat people as if they are God's children, this actually changes the way I feel about them." When I love others the way Jesus loves me, they will be encouraged to become who God created them to be. I was reminded that love for others grows when I serve them. What beautiful challenges for my everyday life! I hope you enjoy this excerpt from It's A Beautiful Life.
How Would You Treat Jesus?
I know this is a challenging idea, but I want to encourage you to think carefully about how you treat people. Consider your family, your spouse, your friends, or complete strangers. How do you treat people who seem to get in your way? Do you treat them with honor and respect? Do you treat them as you would treat Jesus?
My close friend Alex is someone who does this very well, and when I asked her about it, she told me about an incident that impacted her significantly. One day when she was in college, she attended an event with her father. He met a group of friends and stood and talked with them for a few minutes. Wanting to be respectful of the private conversation, she stood behind her father, on the outside of their circle.
When one of the men noticed her standing there, he reached his hand out to introduce himself to her and asked her name. She responded, and he smiled at her and pulled her into the circle.
"Where do you do to school?" he asked, continuing their conversation with her as part of the group. They talked for just a few minutes, but Alex told me she felt valued and accepted. In a group of men her dad's age, she was the outsider. She was a woman. She was young. Those men didn't need to recognize her, and no one would have blamed them if they had continued their conversation without including her. But one man went out of his way to invite her into the group.
When we go out of our way to treat others as we would treat Jesus-when we show them hospitality, when we roll out the red carpet for them, when we treat them even better than they deserve, transformation happens. We become better for it, they become better for it, and-most importantly-Jesus is pleased.
Treating people differently based on their age, social class, physical appearance, position, or abilities is not the way of Jesus. In fact, I'm certain this grieves Him greatly. Scripture says that "people look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). What would it mean for you to look at the heart of everyone you meet? What if you were to find the image of God in that heart? How would it change the way you treat your daughter, sister, mother, hairstylist, or barista?
God cares about how we treat others-it reveals so much about our hearts and has the ability to impact others in significant ways.
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Excerpted from A Beautiful Life: Discovering the Joy of Selfless Love by Kerry Clarensau. ©2014 by Influence Resources, Springfield, Missouri.