Making People Feel "Human"


After high school I started going to a different church. Eventually, I met an older couple there, and the woman said, "Oh, I remember you from McDonald's. We went in there and you treated us like humans, not cattle." Apparently, my time in that greasy part-time job bore more fruit than I had realized. What struck me is that I didn't even remember them, but my kindness had made an impression on them. I'm not going to act like this sort of behavior defines me, although I wish it did more. But it made me recognize that we all want to be treated like "humans", and deep down we know humans are something special.

We are Special

The other day I was watching a courtroom show, and the judge was trying to make a point to a young hoodlum-type that he had to be responsible like everyone else, by saying, "You aren't special." But, you know, while I agreed with her argument, her words weren't right. Just being human makes each of us very special, because being human means we were made in the image of God. We all bear the mark of this image, no matter how worthless we may look on the outside. It's what sets us apart from animals, trees, etc.

I bet we all know those types of people that make us feel special, no matter who we are to them. When we walk into a room, they give the eye contact and smile just as they would if the president had walked in. This makes us feel special, and I think it is a very right response to our fellow humans. We come into contact with so many humans each day, children included, and many of them mean nothing to us, but stop to consider that EACH person bears the mark of being made in God's image. That alone makes them worthy of eye contact and making them feel like a "person", not just more cattle in your life. 

Evangelism

To recognize the beauty of God's image in the soul of each man is also what drives our evangelism efforts. It's hard to do evangelism well, if at all, if we aren't seeing the beautiful person that God has made. If they are just worthless to us, why would we make efforts in their direction? But if we begin to see them for what they truly are, image-bearers that are trading His glory for worthless unneeded lies, then we can begin to care. When we see the beauty of His image imprinted on them, it should grieve us to see them trading it for sinful things. That is, in fact, what makes sin so disgusting. We are all image bearers, and therefore, all have an enormous calling to live up to. When we sin, we have "exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man" (Romans 1:23). We are profaning Him by profaning our own bodies, and that is why there is a hell.

But that's also why there is a Savior. God didn't die for the animals; He died for His image-bearers. The animals can't exchange His glory, because they never had it. But we can. The ones that are so close to His heart, because we bear His personal likeness, are the ones that have hurt Him so deeply. And we are the ones that drew out His love so much that He died to correct it all, if only we'll take it. So, this is our motivation to see more come into the kingdom, because God's heart is there. 

Reach Out

Maybe you have a particular group of friends you tend to only talk to, and feel somewhat uncomfortable branching out. Let this article be the push for selflessness that you need. Consider that people need to feel special, and that perhaps that feeling is what will lead them to feel like they are special to God as well, regardless of if they are already Christians or not. Be the spark that lights the fire, even when it's uncomfortable; make eye contact, smile, ask questions, and make people feel "human".

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