Scripture: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
Are you rich, poor, middle-class, or somewhere in between? I am not wanting to get political but I’m sure everyone is going to go that direction. What I want us to reflect on is the second verse in this passage. “The rich and poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.”
Of course, you say, we know this God made the heavens, the earth, and everything that fills them. But do we really KNOW this? I ask in total honesty not to condemn or judge, but to actually try to encourage each of us to think deeper on this. Do we treat those around us as equals in humanity? Just saying this is causing some of you to squirm a bit, not because you are racist but because politically speaking, I’m sounding a bit liberal. Which is good because we should squirm a bit. Humanly speaking we are all equal, maybe not financially but we are all human. That means there is no room for the “ism” of society when we are dealing with people.
I grew up in a Quaker family, one of our greatest testimonies is equality. Those of African ancestory are human and loved by God. This is evident to the very beginning of the Friends movement, when George Fox ministered to the American Indians, he did not treat them as “heathens” but as equals. You can read about this in his journal. Women were also treated equally, again from the start women were recorded as ministers among Friends. This equality message was taught to me from an early age. I have female grandparents that were recorded, and some of the most influential people in my journey of faith have been women. Friends opposed slavery and worked to stop the trade, and we continue to promote the rights of various Indian tribes. There are several examples that you can look up on your own.
Living our lives honoring the humanity of those around us should cause us to stop and think of how we are treating them. How are we treating those that have come into America “illegally,” how are we treating those of different faiths, or even economic class. Are we honoring them as equals under God or are we expecting them to honor us? When we travel over seas do we attempt to speak their language or do we expect them to honor ours? How are we treating the people that provides the various services we enjoy?
Honor humanity by treating them with dignanty. Do not belittle them because they do not have what we have but treat them with respect. Enjoy the different perspective of life. We may just find out that those people we thought we had little in common with, may become our greatest friends.
As you pray today, pray that we will be more open to honorng all people.