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Discovery Magazine 12/1/2007

What God Says about How We Treat Others

Whoever came up with the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” did not know what he was talking about. Mean words from other people can be very harmful. When another person makes fun of us, calls us ugly, or says we are dumb or stupid, that really hurts. If we are not careful, we will start to believe that we are “ugly,” “dumb,” or “stupid” and we will start to feel very bad about ourselves. This happens to many people. After people make fun of them for a long time, they begin to think of themselves as worthless or no good. Because they feel bad about themselves, they often try to make others feel just like they do. In order to do that, they begin to make fun of other people, trying to bring them down and make them feel bad. Most of the time, when a person is a bully and is mean to another person, it is because that bully does not feel good about himself or herself.

In order to treat people the way God wants us to treat them, first we must know that we are important and special to God. There is not a single person in this world who is worthless or no good. Every person is created by God, and has special talents and abilities that no one else in the world has. The Bible explains that humans are “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26). Each human has a soul that will live forever. Jesus explained that if God takes care of the birds of the air, then He will take care of you, since you (as a human) are much more valuable than birds. Not only that, Jesus said that God knows exactly how many hairs are on your head (Matthew 10:30). The apostle Peter said that we can tell God about all of our cares and troubles, because God cares about us (1 Peter 5:7). In fact, God thinks that we are so important that He sent His only Son to the Earth to die on the cross to show us the way to get to heaven. God created you with amazing talents and abilities, and He knows that you are important. To God, it does not matter how good you are in math, how fast you can run, or how handsome or pretty you are. To God you are valuable simply because He created you.

Because God thinks humans are so valuable, He gets very angry with those people who are mean and mistreat their fellow human beings. Jesus told a story about a master who went on a trip and left a servant in charge of things. The servant thought that the master was going to be away for a long time, so the servant began to beat the other servants, and party with the drunkards. The master surprised the servant and came back early. When the master found that the servant was mistreating others, he punished him very severely. Jesus told this story to remind us that being nice to others is always very important (Matthew 24:45-51).

While Jesus was on Earth, He often explained how we should treat others. Jesus told how He would come back some day and separate the evil people from the good people. Jesus told those good people who had obeyed God that they were going to heaven, because they had fed Him when He was hungry, visited Him when He was sick, and given Him water when He was thirsty. The righteous people did not understand. They did not remember seeing Jesus sick, thirsty, or hungry. How could they have helped Him if they never saw Him? Then Jesus explained to them that anytime they helped their fellow human beings, they were actually helping Jesus (Matthew 25:31-46). That is an important lesson to learn. Just think about those people at your school, or in your class, who do not have many friends, or are mistreated by others. Anytime you help one of those kids, you are actually helping Jesus.

Even though many people make fun of others, mistreat others, and are mean to people, those who are following Jesus should never do these things. Jesus told us how we should treat others. He said, “whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). This statement is called the Golden Rule. You would not like for others to make fun of you, so you should not make fun of others. You would want your classmates to include you in their fun, so you should include others. You would want others to treat you fairly, and respect your opinion, so do the same for those around you.

Always remember that you are special and God cares about you, just as He cares for everyone in the world. Because He loves humans, He gets very angry when people mistreat others. Whatever we do to those in need, we do to Jesus. Let’s make sure that we help others, and treat them kindly, just like we would like to be treated.



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