18,19 “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
Deuteronomy 10:18,19 (ESV)
Our lives are full of people who are dear to us, including friends and family who provide support, encouragement and assistance.
However, Jesus says in Luke 6:32 (NIV), “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” God desires for us to be sympathetic toward our enemies and to those beyond our circles.
In Deuteronomy 10:18 we see that God protects the orphans and widows, those without protection who have meager social standing and few resources.
As the Creator of the world and Provider of all things, God loves all humankind, including those who are lost or who go without. He asks us to do the same in our neighborhoods, schools and on our athletic teams.
People in need fill the sidewalks and halls around us. God requests of us to step up and be friends to the schoolmates whom other kids shun and refuse to talk to.
He wants us to show kindness to the young person whose family struggles financially and who may be devalued in our materialistic culture. We should help protect classmates from getting picked on or bullied.
While God aspires to grow you as a teammate and as an athlete, He primarily wants to grow you into a Christ-like person.
How we choose to treat the people around us reflects who we are in Christ. Our reaching out to a person in need while sitting in class or playing on the field is important to God.
Why should we extend a hand to others?
God reached out to us, and so we should do the same to others. Deuteronomy 19 says that we should love foreigners because we were once foreigners. The word “foreigners” signifies outsiders or strangers.
We sinned and turned our backs on God, separating ourselves from Him. Out of His immense love, He forgave our transgressions and provided repair of that relationship through connection with Jesus. After restoration through Christ, we are no longer outsiders but “insiders.”
God offered His amazing grace to us as a gift and as an example. We should treat others who may be on the “outside” as “insiders.” Today, let’s focus on being a blessing to those on our teams and in our schools who may need a little extra protection, friendship and assistance.