The way we treat people, especially other Christ- followers, matters to God!
There’s a reason for that. The Spirit of God actually resides in the the hearts of humans who are part of His family. When we mistreat another child of God, we mistreat God, who lives within them.
In ancient times, the Ark of the Covenant was given by God as the place where He would meet with designated representatives of the people. Dishonoring the Ark in any way (moving it incorrectly, entering the Holy of Holies without being qualified to do so, etc.) was to dishonor the God who presided there and such actions brought His judgment. The clear message was that the place where God chose to show Himself was sacred and was to be treated with great care.
I can’t help believing the same holds true today. God lives within His people, much as He dwelt above the Ark millennia ago. He defended His honor by defending the Ark. Would He do less than that today?
- No wonder God says to love our neighbor. (Is there someone I need to show love to today?)
- No wonder Jesus said to be reconciled to our brother. (Is there someone I need to forgive today?)
- No wonder Paul says to prefer others above ourselves. (Is there someone I need to honor today?)
In doing these things, we honor God who honors us with His indwelling presence. God is good, gracious, merciful, and loving. But He protects His own. Let’s be careful how we treat them!
“Next to the holy sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” – C. S. Lewis