OVERVIEW: God provided instructions for people to protect property rights and respect others.
BIG IDEA: Love others by respecting them and their things.
KEY VERSE: Exodus 22:21–22 (God’s instructions for healthy living)
You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must not exploit a widow or an orphan.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Community building is more important than you can imagine. When you love and respect others, you love and respect me. My hedge of protection includes those in your family, at your school or job, and in your community. Strengthen those relationships, value them, and don’t dismiss or demean anyone. Look for ways to encourage and build others up.
In the same way, you are my means to love and care for others. Watch out for and support one another. And, yes, the stranger you bump into, he is your neighbor. Love and serve him. Your neighbor will not always smell like you do, or vote like you do, and may not even like you. Don’t trade negative words or works. Forgive him for any he shares and respond with love. More importantly, don’t isolate yourself from the world. It’s easy to walk on the other side of the street or take a different route to avoid someone, but practice love and grace to those who need it most.
Practice a random act of kindness today. Some ideas: Buy a coffee for the person behind you in line? Pay for someone’s gas? Leave an enormous tip? Stop and have an extended conversation with a person you often avoid?