Words spoken at the right time are like gold apples in a silver setting.
Think about the different folks in your life. No matter what they look like, we need to remember that each person is created in the image of God. “The image of God” is not an appearance thing; we get to know God better with every person we meet. Every person gives us a glimpse of God. So what do we do with that?
We start with respect. Everyone needs to be treated with care and trust. We need to build up each person. We also need to remember that we too are created in the image of God. That means that we all deserve respect, care and trust. So does that make everyone the same?
Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.” When we talk to other people, we should fill our talk with humility, care, trust and respect.
In a New Testament story, Jesus’s disciples didn’t want to wash each other’s feet. Feet are smelly, and after a dusty day outside, feet need a good cleaning. Nobody wanted to serve; they were too proud. Then Jesus taught them about honoring other people by being a servant. He washed everyone’s feet.
John 13: 12-16 tells us more. “After Jesus had washed his disciples' feet and had put his outer garment back on, he sat down again. Then he said: ‘Do you understand what I have done? You call me your teacher and Lord, and you should, because that is who I am. And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other. I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you.’”
Our place in God’s story is to hear Jesus’s call to serve. Don’t just say that you are a Christian. Show that you are a Christian by using respectful words and by considering others more important than you. The world would be very different if everyone did that!