I was recently reminded that we are all related to one another.
Every man and woman of every race and cultural background are related.
We are all brothers and sisters in the vast sea of humanity.
If I were able to trace my entire genealogy to the beginning of
time, I would find that I was related to my wife before marriage.
And, I would find that I am related to Jesus, Abraham, and Noah.
My genealogy would end with Adam and Eve as my "great . . . grandparents."
Now think about this for a minute. I am related to you - whoever
you are. And you are related to me. Look out a window, walk down
the street, or go to a public place. As you see people, say to yourself:
We are related.
The fact that I am related to every person that is, has been, or
will live on the face of this earth brings to mind profound thoughts
concerning my relationship to humanity.
Philanthropy comes from the greek word philanthropia (phileo
+ anthropos) which means "love for man." Paul uses this word
in Titus 3:4-7 saying: "But when the kindness and the love (philanthropia)
of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness
which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through
the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom
He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according
to the hope of eternal life."
God loves everyone. Paul tells Timothy that God "desires all men
to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4).
And Peter says that God is "not willing that any should perish but
that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).
Regarding disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to imitate God's
love for mankind. Jesus says: "You have heard that it was said,
'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to
you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those
who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute
you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes
His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the
just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what
reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And
if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?
Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect,
just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:43-48).
Jesus further teaches that we are known by our fruits. Only those
deeply devoted to God can overcome fleshly desires of vengeance,
prejudice, greed, and pride. Only those who put God first and self
last may live a life of eternal sacrifice to the good of all men
from pure motives.
Now my thoughts turn to myself. What do those round about see in
me? Do they see God and His love for humanity? Or, do they see a
person concerned with self?
Now think about yourself: What do people see in you? God loves
everyone - do you?