July 13, 2017

Be Considerate

Matthew 7:9-12

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

Being around considerate people is nice. They seem to know what you’re going through, and they gently offer help and comfort to make your path easier. They see how tired you are, and they offer a meal and some rest, even putting a blanket over you so you won’t get chilly as you lie down to rest.

Is it that they’re not just thinking about themselves all the time? Not exactly. They know what would make them rest comfortably, so they do it to you! As Jesus commanded, they do to others what they would like done to themselves.

Paul describes another example: “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:28-29).

But let’s not get Jesus and Paul wrong. They’re not telling us to be considerate just because it benefits us. We are called to love others without conditions, with no strings attached. If we stop being considerate to someone because they aren’t considerate in return, our motives probably are selfish.

In a world of selfishness, being truly considerate is a breath of fresh air. It warms the heart and ties us together in love.

Lord, take our selfish hearts and transform them. Use our grasping knowledge of what would please us, and direct it outward, that we may be thoughtful of others and lighten their burdens. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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