Jeremiah 7:5-7 “If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever.”
God really, really cares about how we treat other people! You don’t need to be a student of the Bible for very long before you realize the importance God puts on His people’s treatment of others. In fact, the way we treat others is a direct indication of our relationship with God Himself.
God Really Cares About Our Treatment of Others
I have always loved to read. From the time I first learned that letters have sounds and make up words I have relished finding a comfortable corner and getting lost inside a good book . Recently, I read a loved it/hated it historical novel. I couldn’t put it down, but the story was horrifying. It involved the despicable treatment of orphans in the early to mid-1900s. Helpless orphaned children and others stolen away from their parents were deposited into an institution where they were treated with disrespect and cruelty. This particular story-line was fiction, but it was based on real historical events where children were being sold to unsuspecting adoptive parents.
Religious Posturing is Not Enough
I think we would all agree that these types of actions are criminal, but according to God any mistreatment, or even disregard for those in need, indicates a callous heart. The people of Jeremiah’s time believed they would be safe from invading armies because they spent time in the temple “worshiping” God. But the Lord warned that no amount of outward religious posturing would save them. He knew their hearts were self-centered. And their oppression of the alien, the fatherless, and the widow for selfish gain proved they had drifted far from the Lord.
James 1:27 states, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Our Actions Toward Others Indicates Our Relationship With God
The way we treat others, especially those who cannot return the favor, does not bring us into a relationship with God, but it proves that we already belong to God and have His heart for others. After all, Jesus gave up everything to come to earth to help us in our distress, so we should also help those around us.
Jeremiah warned his people that they must reform their ways and their actions. Outward shows of religion were not enough. Their wrongful treatment of others revealed their true colors, and only a change of heart could modify their dismal future.
How about us? Are we relying on our pristine church attendance or other surface actions to feel confident in our relationship with God? If we are treating others badly then we are only kidding ourselves. A true relationship with God found in the Lord Jesus Christ will transform our selfish outlook. Every day it will become more and more natural to treat others, especially those with great needs, with kindness and compassion. This heart of love will be the best indicator of our relationship with God. If we love God we will do what He wants. And He really, really cares about how we treat others.
If you like Verses from Mama, I invite you to click here and sign up to receive them straight to your mailbox.