Most of us have experienced discrimination in one way or another. This is because if somebody is not of the same race, gender, political color or economic status, we tend to look up to them or look down on them.
What can we learn from the Bible? What should be our attitude in dealing with others?
Moses was given some commands by God before they entered the Promised Land. Let me share some of these commands that can be found in Leviticus.
Leviticus 19:33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.”
First, we must not mistreat other people.
This tells us that when something bad was done to us, we must not do it to others. We should do what is right even if we were wronged.
How do we mistreat others? Emotionally, when we withhold our love to them. Physically, when we abuse them. Intellectually, when we belittle their ideas or do not acknowledge them. Spiritually, when we believe that God is with us only.
Leviticus 19:34a “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”
Second, we must love others as we love ourselves. Jesus repeated this later on.
This was very difficult for the Israelites but God commanded them to do it. The natural instinct would be to cast away others who are not in your family. But God told them to accept others.
God is actually telling them, and us now that all of us are brothers and sisters because there is only one Creator. If we understand this then there will be no war. There will be no territories, no borders. Why? Because everything belongs to God and we are just caretakers.
In the history of Israel, there was a time that they followed the commands of God. But later on they forgot about it. Prophets would always remind them of these commands. Most of the time the prophets would tell them that their freedom was granted by God so they must obey the commands.
The commands of God in Leviticus are not for the Israelites only but for all of us. Let us not mistreat others but love them the way God loves all of us.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on