“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 NIV
Treat people as you would want to be treated, is a perfect idiom for healthy people. When I say healthy, I mean healthy emotionally and spiritually. To further illustrate: those people who can face themselves in the mirror and say I love you, you are equal to anyone else on this earth, and can form equally healthy relationships with other humans regardless of the idiosyncrasies of people. A person whose heart is so soft in the Lord that a chip of bitterness would find no home there. Those people can see this scripture and go “Yes, I will love everyone the same way I love myself, I will treat them as I treat myself.
But what of the unhealthy, if you can’t even look in the mirror, because you hate yourself so much, that the very idea that you have a right to be on this planet as everyone else. Would you want to be treated the same as that person. I spent years helping other people out of difficulties, helped them out of depression, helped them overcome phobias, helped them leave abusive spouses, helped in times of trauma, delving through reams of bureaucratic red tape to get a person’s child seen by the medical profession, filled out countless forms, wrote endless letters. I helped. I treated them as worthy of getting help, I treated them as worthy of me doing my utmost to make their lives easier, happier, removing barriers so they could live a full life. Fair enough I was treating people with kindness, but the other side of the coin, me.
I felt I was worthy of death, dead death, not dying here and going on to eternal life. If someone was kind to me, I recoiled, how could they be nice to me, fools. I never looked at myself in the mirror unless I wanted to verbally be angry at myself, so I brushed my hair away from mirrors, I did not take care. I was thrown together and then got to the front door. Considering the lack of effort I put in to getting ready to go out in the world it was remarkably difficult to walk through the entrance of my house to the outside.
Of course that was then and this is now. A friend in the middle of the year took my on a break, just myself and themselves, they paid for the flights, they took me to the airport, they were lind, and it was a kindness of love not duty. The whole trip was wonderful, I remember it fondly, I remember the love of the people I met, I remember feeling blessed. I worked out I had never graciously accepted anything from a human before because of this “worthless” complex.
Because I accepted forgiveness for my named sins from God, I saw his grace and mercy freely given to me, I saw his love, a palpable force, freely given, Because of what he did to me, because of the changes he made in me, I was open to the love of others. I welcomed the love of others and I learned that now that I am as equal as anyone else. We are all charged to treat others as we would want to be treated. Regardless of the health of the other person, in that I mean, acts of kindness that are rebuffed, gifts returned, thoughtless throw away comments designed to hurt. These all have to be ignored. We must not get offended because someone else is less healthy than us.
I have been on the outskirts of a group of people for about six months. The group met in fellowship and started a project. The project failed, the fellowship disbanded, the majority of the group offended to differing levels. Only the healthy ones, although hurt, dusted themselves off and started again. The unhealthiness of the people bred an atmosphere that allowed the devil in, it warped the ideology, it festered an atmosphere of grumbling, of complaining, of walking away and of focussing on the bad in people rather than exalting the good.
I have learned a great deal by watching this group, I learned a lot about group dynamics, but I mostly learned a lot about me. A year ago I would’ve jumped in with both feet, enabling and helping and feeling responsible. Now I can sit back, watch things unfold and learn from them. Don’t get me wrong they weren’t lab rats in a cage, I prayed for the health of the group, I prayed with and for the individuals in the group and when it came to end I prayed for peace to settle on the people’s hearts.
thank you for the insights you give me, thank you for helping me to know when to hold back and when to go full force for something. As I potentially embark on a new project in the next few weeks help an air of healthiness stay with us, stay with me. As this project begins it is the tentative first moves please help me bring together healthy people so only good is done. Help me not to offend, intentionally and unintentionally. There are still offended people around me that I have unintentionally offended help me let them see I don’t know how I have offended them but I acknowledge the hurt and the offence. Lord help me make amends when appropriate without bringing myself back into unhealthiness, and Lord for those people who are just gagging to take offence, waiting for the ideal time to be hurt, soften their hearts Lord, help them pick out the bitter shards of the unhealthy tissue leaving only viable beautiful God given tissue. Lord the differences I make in other peoples’ lives with your help is nothing, absolutely nothing when compared to the difference you have made in my life. The new creation you made, Lord this new creation is down on her knees in absolute awe, praising and worshiping the God who made me: me. Lord I thank you, endless bottomless thanks. I am amazed in your presence, it really is infatiguably true – just one touch from the Lord changes everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amen