Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” — Romans 13:7-9
When I was a child, my parents taught me the importance of kindness. They were not believers, but they did believe in treating others with thoughtfulness and respect. So even before I became a Christian at age 38, this was an important part of who I am.
When I learned about Jesus and His love for us, His command to love others was one I approached with joy. It’s not always easy: Like all of us, I am subject to fatigue and impatience and annoyance. Yet I try to respond with kindness, even when my first reaction might be to do the opposite.
And I’m glad that I do, for you never know who may be watching—or when you might be an important example of what it means to be Christian.
I recently connected with someone who said, “I’ve been watching you for years.” We had met briefly, many years ago, and went our separate ways. When our paths crossed again he said that my kindness to others had made an impact on him. I didn’t know it, but by following Jesus’ command to treat others as I wish to be treated (Matthew 7:12), I was quietly impacting this man’s life in a positive way.
This week one of MAF’s pilots shared the tale of an angry man who threatened to destroy our airplane, harm a local missionary, and burn down her house. The missionary woman later had an opportunity to demonstrate Jesus’s love by helping the man when he became deathly ill, even paying for his flight to a hospital. Such acts of love can have an eternal impact, and I hope that we will someday hear an exciting epilogue to this man’s story!
I’m thankful for my parents’ early lessons in kindness and manners that complement the commands of our Lord Jesus to treat others with love. For love is what Jesus’ sacrifice was all about. And you never know who may be watching.