Treating Everybody The Same Way?
On the surface and before any further discussion or context, we all probably agree with the above statement. We may have often said this. “We should treat everybody the same way.” It might be better to say, “we should treat everybody right.”
Consider what Paul wrote to Timothy: “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, the young as sister, with all purity,” (1 Tim. 5:1,2).
Timothy was to treat everybody right, but not the same way. Older men were to be treated with the respect that is due the older, experienced spiritual fathers. Timothy was to treat younger men as his brothers; older women as his mothers, and younger women as sisters, “with all purity.”
Christians are to treat other Christians with familial affection. We are a family and our treatment of each other should virtually duplicate the dynamics of family relationship.
In our treatment of people, we are to take into account where they are in relation to us in terms of age and gender. Our treatment must contain appropriate ethics and purity.
Matthew Henry wrote: “Respect must be paid to the dignity of years and place. The younger, if faulty, must be rebuked, not as desirous to find fault with them, but as willing to make the best of them. There is need of much meekness and care in reproving those who deserve reproof.” So, let’s treat everybody the right way, as God has treated us.
By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 18.3; March 2011