One of the hardest things for me to keep in mind as I interact with people is that God sees the way I am treating them as how I am treating him. I think a part of me resists that because I don’t like a lot of people as well as I like him.
Oh sure, if people are nice and wonderful it’s much easier but of course I don’t think you get as much credit for that, do you? “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?” (Matthew 5:46)
Instead, we are called to love others as if it is the Lord himself. “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in….To the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:35 & 40)
Maybe some help for me when I really don’t want to is to think of Jesus’ term “these brothers of mine.” How do I want my own brothers (sisters, parents, daughters) treated by everyone else in the world? I am hurt and offended when someone treats my loved ones with less than love, respect and dignity. Since it is how I feel, I can understand how he feels about it.
Even when it is hard, I’ll keep my eyes on the great love of my heart and try my best to do it anyhow – as unto him.