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
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
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
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
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