The sun comes up in the morning. The sky is filled with air. Water is available to quench our thirst. God tells us to treat those who don’t love him and those who don’t love us the same as we would want to be treated. And he says that we should treat them in that way because that’s what he does. In other words, he has set the sun to come up for them just as it comes up for us. The air we breath is the same air that he has given them to breath. The water that we drink is also available for them to drink.
If we were to parallel the sun and the air and the water to parts of ourselves—parts of the human condition that others benefit from—then we would have to say that our generosity is for everybody that we meet throughout the day. Our kindness is for anybody who is in our lives no matter how many times they have turned their backs on us. Our faithfulness and praise will always be for the Lord even though we are walking through countless hard times that never seem to end.
God will never leave us. And if there is one thing that we can be grateful for, it should be that. If there is one thing that we can parallel our own lives to, it should be that. Just as God will never leave us, we should never leave him and the things that he wants us to do, such as being the light, being the air, being the water. Or, in more direct words, being the generosity, the kindness, and the faithfulness that does not select, does not only repay, does not play favorites. Because when it comes to love, Jesus did and does not play favorites.
“You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, a lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest. You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you” (Psalm 61:3-5, The Message Bible).
Keep in mind that we have the right to our opinions, likes, and choices. Treating everybody the same or not having favorites has nothing to do with what we like or who we like, but has everything to do with love. Love means that we give everybody our best without prejudice regardless if we think they are cool or not, regardless if we like their personality or what they have to say or how they live their life.
Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to treat everybody the same, especially to those that have hurt us over and over. But treating everybody the same doesn’t mean that we should allow people to hurt us. We have the option of defending ourselves, absolutely. And we also have the option of seeking justice and speaking the truth to those who have done us wrong.
If a person continually hurts us, we don’t have to stick around, but if we don’t have a choice but to stick around, then we don’t have to stand there and take it without saying a word. Be bold. Tell that person the truth about what is happening. If he or she is committing crimes, seek legal justice. But remember, we must still forgive. We must still show that person love, even if we have to explain the hard truth to him before we give him something to eat.