Do to others as you would have them do to you.–Luke 6:31
An old classmate approached me at our high school reunion with the dreaded question, “Do you remember me?” He looked familiar, but he wasn’t one of my close friends in high school. “Do you remember what you did?” he then asked. Gulp. I put my brain into overdrive trying to remember. Was I nice? Was I mean? Was I considerate or was I a jerk? Fortunately, he did not give me time to answer. “That day it was raining, my sister and I had gotten in a car accident and you stopped to help us on the side of the road. Everyone else kept driving by, but you stopped. We never forgot that.”
I remember that day. It was a split-second decision to pull the car to the side of the road. But had I been in a hurry or had a car been in my way, I may not have stopped. For the most part, I was a nice and considerate kid, but like many high school students, I had a “too cool” and “it’s all about me” streak as well. When my classmate recounted the story, I felt relief that he wasn’t bringing up a time I had been snotty to him, because I am sure someone could have approached me with that scenario as well.
We all have the ability to treat others well and the ability to treat others like dirt. If you are anything like me, how I react depends on my mood. Sometimes I am friendly and personable with the cashier at the checkout stand and other times I am rolling my eyes at his incompetence. Same situation–it’s just a different day. Or if I get cut off in traffic I sometimes think, “Gee, I hope everything is okay.” But, catch me on a bad day and I am ready to chase you down and give you a piece of my mind. It all depends if I feel like living out my faith that day or not.
How have you been remembered? You have been remembered for who you were in a moment that counted. With this classmate, it just so happens that I am remembered as a nice, caring and considerate person. But I am sure I can find some other classmates who would disagree. I wish I could change it, but the impression has been made. The challenge for you and me is this: do to others as you would have them do unto you each day, not just when you feel like it.
1. What kind of impression do you leave with people you think you may never see again?
2. What can you do to keep yourself in check? How can you make sure you always treat others the way you would like to be treated?
Matthew 7:12; Romans 7:14-25; Philippians 2:1-4