~ Chapter 2 ~
The Disciple’s Treatment Is Interactive
“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:31). The “golden rule” idea is to be credited to Jesus. What an integral standard of operation this is for humanity, much less a disciple. Treating others the way you want to be treated radiates healthy socialization at the highest degree imaginable. As His disciple, Jesus depends on you to set such a standard, not merely bark for it. In fact, shoulder to shoulder with the greatest commandment, Jesus admonished “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It is so clear: First, love God, and second, love people. Loving God generates His love for people through you. The order is never reversed.
Ultimately, your social influence is on the line. For the last thirty-two weeks, you have focused on a deep, intense, inward examination of Christ’s commands as they relate to you personally. This means your “personal” relationship with Christ has begun. Now, Christ wants to put you in social waters, to see how well you can swim. You see, among other Christians socially, you are expected to love them sacrificially. By doing so, you exemplify yourself to be a disciple of Christ (John 13: 34-35). The glorious result is that outsiders notice your loving actions towards other Christians, which has nothing but a positive impact on them, leaving a response unknown to you but known to the Father.
However, the greater test for you is not how effectively you love other Christians, but how well you love outsiders. I’m talking about the annoying co-worker, the impatient customer, and the hateful boss. Daily, you are put in situations that you not only observe difficult people, but you are required to interact with them. What do you say? How do you say it? Obviously, some people are going to be easier to “love” than others. Christ is not asking you to like everything about everyone you are around each day. But, He does ask you to love everyone regardless of everything you don’t like about them. Do not allow what you like or don’t like about people to dictate your love for them. The cart would be leading the horse! Remember, your treatment towards them alone may be the determining factor that stimulates their interest towards Jesus Christ.
You are called to this, disciple. This is all a part of your “package deal” when you signed up to commit your life to Christ. Sure, you are to love Christ personally and worship Christ corporately with other believers, but you must move forward towards your service with Christ socially. You are called to be a rescuer, not a recluse. You are designed to be a witness to lost people, not a waste of blood-bought property. Dear disciple, people’s lives are hanging in the balance, and your zeal to socially shape up depends on who will reach these people. Step up. Speak up. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go and will speak for you to whomever you love (Matthew 10: 19-20). Trust God, not your nerves (Proverbs 3: 5-6). There’s a lost, confused, hurting society waiting on you.