More Important

Who is most important in your life? Of all the people in your life, who is has the most significant impact over your daily affairs? Some might say my employer really has the most to say about how I live and work. He governs my time, tells me when I am scheduled for work, and how I ought to dress and act while I am there. Granted, that person does have a lot of power over your life. But that person cannot tell you how to think, or what to think about.

Well, what about your spouse? Doesn’t she have a lot of say about who you are and what you’re about? Certainly. I share my life with her. She and I are very close, and she has much to say about how I live my life and what I occupy my time with, as she should.

What about your God? Doesn’t God have a lot to say about how to live your life and what to think about? Absolutely. And of all who have something to say about me, it is God’s opinion I value the most. So with certainty, God is the most important person in my life. So why doesn’t God say that here?

Here, it is others who are the most important. Others? What others? Just anybody? It reminds me of something Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you,” and “however you treat the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” The least of all humanity is just as important as the greatest. All are made in the image of God. All.

So how we treat others reflects on our treatment of God. For how can we say we love God and yet hate our brother? Is not our brother made in the image of God? For all of this talk about welcoming our neighbors (as a feint for accepting illegal aliens) are we really addressing the underlying Christian principle? Inviting the world to our doorstep sounds like a good idea, even a Christian one, but do we also couple that with our Christian missionary work? We may well want to accept the illegal in the name of Jesus, but don’t we also proselytize him? The name of Jesus demands it! If they are to come under our roof, they must also give respect to our God. If they accept our hospitality, then they must also be respectful of our religion. If we are going to bring the world to our doorstep in the name of Christian hospitality, then we must also demand that the world give respect to our Christian faith. You would never allow a houseguest to disrespect your family’s faith, would you? That’s not how hospitality works.

Sorry, that got off into rant territory. Many in our community are fond of posting signs that welcome “neighbors” regardless of where they are from, without realizing how the underlying Christian principles they pretend to espouse actually work. Hospitality does not also mean tolerance of all and every idea. It means we welcome you as a child of God made in His image. When you come under my protection, there are certain rules while under my roof you must follow. You don’t pee on the floor. You don’t have sex in front of my children. You eat with your mouth closed. You don’t curse my God or threaten my life. Just some basic rules of hospitality in my opinion.

Lord Jesus, help me continue to see others as You do. Sometimes, I get all jumbled up with my worldview and how I see others, especially when I see the worst in others on a daily basis. Father, you didn’t call me to judge other people. You called me loved and spread Your love to them in the gospel message. Remind me today to bless these souls with your loving Presence. Help me to remember my role as an ambassador for Your Kingdom, not mine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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