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And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
When you read this verse who comes to mind as being the “least of these” to you? Is it that poor person begging on the street corner or some other stranger in need of your money or your help? What about those closest to you?
We need to concern ourselves with the needs of strangers, but we should not overlook the needs of those we love. Do you concern yourself with how you treat your siblings, mom, dad, and spouse as you do others? Have you ever looked at your brother or sister and thought that how you treat him or her is how you are treating Jesus? Just because someone else isn’t poor or somehow down in life doesn’t mean that you are off the hook for how you treat them! I used to tell my children, when they were young that the world will be hateful enough to each of them, they needed to know that they are loved by each other and that they could count on each other to have their backs! I couldn’t help but laugh at times when I would get a call from the principle telling me that my son was going above and beyond defending his sisters. (mind you, the principle thought it was great and Brian never physically hurt anyone ~ he just let them know it could be a possibility if they weren’t good to his sisters)
Do you work as hard on the relationships closest to you as you do others? Do you take for granted your relationship with your siblings, parents or spouse and spend your time working on relationships with others instead? Why do the most important relationships often take a back seat to others? Why are we willing to spend more time making things right with someone who, most of the time, couldn’t care less about us than we do those who have always been and always will be there for us. Do you save all of the kindness you have for people of the opposite sex that you work with while you are harsh with your spouse at home? How about your relationship with your parents? They more than likely won’t be here forever.
I would like to encourage you today to ask God to show you if you are neglecting relationships that you should be guarding. Don’t allow Satan to build a wall between you and those you should hold dear in your life. Don’t neglect working on relationships with those you are supposed to be closest to. Don’t wait until it is too late to say you are sorry or to spend time with those you love and who love you. Guard those God given relationships and yes, do not neglect the needy. The point of these verses was not to get us to focus on people we consider “beneath us”, but to help us to understand that everyone deserves our best in the way we treat them! We should treat everyone with the love of Christ as though we were doing it to Him and for Him directly!
“It’s not the things you get but the hearts you touch that will determine your success in life.” ~ Simple Truths