“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31
There’s a special feeling that comes when someone treats you in an incredibly kind way. This past week I was able to attend a talent show where my friend was going to be singing. Normally, I wouldn’t be able to get in since it was for the Disney College Program people, but my friend put me as a VIP. That’s not a normal thing I get very often, so when I was able to get in, get a lanyard and sit in the front row, my whole attitude felt very positive. I got to gush over my friend, Shanden, and his incredible voice and encourage him. After, I started thinking, I began to think about what Jesus said when he talked about how to treat others. The “golden rule” is well known, but not always followed. When we look at the life of Jesus, we see a man who chose to treat others like VIPs, treating others with love and encouragement. We are called to follow the example that Jesus set, so that means, we need to start treating others like the very important people they are.
This whole year I’ve been learning on how to love people better. I’ve been looking at how Jesus lived, he chose to love all people despite their background or mistakes they made. Jesus loved the people who were hated by the culture and he even loved a man that would eventually betray him. Despite this, Jesus chose to treat others with the mindset that they were worthy of love. Each of us have been created by God with a purpose, so that means everyone around us has that same unique design. Why would we not live life encouraging others and helping them reach their own potential? Part of it is our selfish nature and part is fear of the unknown. What we must do is start looking at others as VIPs, very important people designed with purpose by a powerful creator.
Begin living selflessly.
It’s really easy to go into being kind and loving with wrong motives. We often go about this with the mindset of, what can I get from this? The way we treat others begins to be self-serving, you try and be kind to those who will help you get ahead. This could be in relationships, workplace, or friendships; and in every setting, it only leads down a path of manipulation. We have to break this mold, because it has been engrained in most of our lives. We need to start living and loving selflessly. The reason you treat others with kindness should simply be, that it’s the right thing to do. Even if the person is completely rotten back to you, we are still called to love others and treat them the way we would want to be treated.
This practically starts in your mind. See others as the beings of creation that they are. Each person is a masterpiece, so help build them up to step into who they are. This looks like being kind to your waiter, don’t curse others while dealing with traffic, start complementing the people around you. Look at the way Jesus lived, he saw past the labels on people and called the greatness out of them. Choose to look past the labels and call out the greatness in others.
Use your influence to encourage and remain humble.
You’ll be amazed at what happens when you treat others like very important people. You will have people attracted to you, because you are a light, and we need to be careful that this influence doesn’t turn into pride. As you continue to grow and gain influence, remain humble, it’s only because of Jesus that you have been given this. Continue to encourage and stand with those around you. This is what it means to be a leader. A leader is not someone who controls those around them, or use their status as a scapegoat for their choices. A true leader understands the influence they have, and chooses to use it to help others grow. I’ve been in places where leadership has become a way to talk about their achievement and how they are to be modeled after, be careful of people like this. A true leader knows that they are not the example to follow, a true leader always points back to Jesus, because that is the model we should continually strive for.
Never treat others as a way to validate you or to be used for your ego, treat others as the creation they are.
It was such a fun experience to walk into a place and have a seat saved for me. What if we lived treating the people around us in the same fashion? We all want to be loved and encouraged, so why not start treating others the way we want to be treated. It starts with us. Stop worrying about the unknown of what the reaction might be, and just start encouraging others. You were designed by a creative designer and you are worthy of love, and the truth is, everyone around you is just as designed and worthy of love as you are. It’s time to let go and start loving, truly follow the example that Jesus set for us. Look past all the labels and the expectations and be a true leader.
Treat others the way you want to be treated, because everyone is a very important person.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__