>Do you see people as a Thou or an It?

>What is the Church? Day 4: Aiding Our Community

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:34-36 (NIV)

From Daily Office: Remembering God’s Presence Throughout the Day by Peter Scazzero:

“The great Jewish theologian Martin Buber described the most healthy or mature relationship possible between two human beings as an ‘I-Thou’ relationship. In such a relationship, I recognize that I am made in the image of God and so is every other person. This makes them a ‘Thou’ to me. They have dignity and worth, and are to be treated with respect. I affirm them as being a unique and separate human being apart from me.

“In most of our human relationships, however, we treat people as objects, as an ‘It’. In an ‘I-It’ relationship, I treat you as a means to an end—as we might use a toothbrush or car to take us somewhere. I talk to people to get something off my chest, not to be with them as separate individuals. I talk about people in authority or in the newspapers as if they were subhuman. I get frustrated when people don’t fit into my plans or see things the way I do.

“The connection between loving well and loving God is inseparable. Take a few moments and consider the people you will encounter today. What might it look like for you to slow down and treat them as a ‘Thou’ rather than an ‘It’?” (pages 124-125).

Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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