Sunday, July 23, 2017

How We Treat Others Is a Big Sign of Who We Are

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. James 2:13

This one seems straight forward right? I mean, you want to be respected, loved, forgiven, accepted, desired to be with, and more. And that's natural because God really did design is to be that way. He truly wanted us to be social creatures.

So what's the big deal? People should treat you that way. I tell my kids ALL the time on a DAILY basis, "Treat others the way you want to be treated. It's the Golden Rule!" As children, we have to teach them this often because their brains have not formed yet and the impulsiveness and inner drive to satisify the self always comes first. And it's out job as parents to open their eyes to the world around them.

What makes this not so simple is that when dealing with an addiction, your world has become so self centered that seeing the value in others and respecting that and honoring it is not your first instinct. Most addicts will say that we needed that high no matter what the cost. And so, if that meant hurting someone else to get what we needed, then so be it.

But when we wake up and start to battle our addiction, our eyes become open to the real world and we often find that our social skills are very lacking. Very!  And so we must relearn this Golden Rule. But now as an adult and a follower of Jesus - there is a second part attached to this verse. See the part about "God judges you". Hey, my mom and dad never told me about that. So if doing the right thing isn't enough to motivate you then knowing that judgement will come should kinda help push you on your way to changing how you treat people.

Besides, ever notice that the people you want to hang out with (and I mean post-addiction) really seem to have a good handle on life, smile, interact well, laugh, open doors for others, want to get together?

So, today, challenge yourself to be nice to everyone. If you find it too hard to be nice to everyone, then pick one person who you struggle with for whatever reason. Usually we struggle with those who have treated us poorly in the past (hmm...see a trend here) and do something nice to or for them. Hold the door open. Ask if they need help. Say hi. If it's your spouse, then offer to do something nice for them - get flowers, offer to do the dishes or fold laundry, run to the dry cleaners for them. I don't know what that something is - but I bet you do!

Try being nice to someone today and see how it makes you feel. You may not get the red carpet rolled out for you - in fact, you might even get hurt. But keep trying and slowly the walls will come tumbling down and you will do nice things to and for people without even thinking about it. It will become second nature to not think about yourself first.