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Be ye kind to one another

”Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster and do it with no thought of reward. Your life will never be the same again.” This thought is a quote from Og Mandino.

I learned the truth of this saying in a painful way. The afternoon of the day my father was to die, I took him to the doctor. He was in good spirits. We had to do a lot of waiting. Waiting to see the doctor. Waiting in the lab for some tests to be made. Back to the doctor for more waiting. Minor surgery was scheduled for a few weeks later and I drove him home. He was tired but none the worse for wear, we thought. He ate his supper, watched a little TV and retired at a reasonable hour. He never woke up.

I had brought some work along to occupy the time while we waited for doctors, lab technicians and the like. I had no idea that he would be dead before morning. Had I known that, I would have spent those precious last hours in conversation with him.

The point of the quotation is that we should be treating everyone we meet as if they would be dead before midnight. If we did this, just think how much more thoughtful we would be. We would listen intently to what they had to say; we would be conscious of their feelings; we would muster all the kindness and understanding that we possessed.

How do we show our love for our Heavenly Father? By being kind to some of His children. The Psalmist tells us that the cattle on a thousand hills are His, so what can we give to the Creator of heaven and earth? We can give cups of cold water in His name to His children. This is the lesson our Lord Jesus Christ taught us.

We all know this academically, but that is not enough. There are so many things we seem to know that we do not do. It is important to know them, but it is essential that we do them.

The quote speaks a truth that we will all be wise to follow. None of us knows the day of our death but if we all treated one another as lovingly and kindly as we would if we were seeing each other for the last time, certainly our life would never be the same again.

What is lost because we treat someone with this amount of kindness and they do live through the night? Nothing is lost and a great deal is gained, because we have treated them the way we would like to be treated.

We have all heard the prayer of the little boy who said to God, ”Please make all the bad people good and the good people nice.” Some may hold all the right doctrines and yet be unkind to the children of our Heavenly Father.

Paul tells us, ”Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” He also told us that ”love suffereth long, and is kind.” Our Lord told us that God ”is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”

The only picture our Lord gives us of the judgment seat has to do with how we treated others, what we did and did not do.

We are all determining the amount of mercy we are going to receive at the judgment seat by the amount of mercy we now show to each other. ”For the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” ”Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”

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