Using hidden cameras, “Primetime: What Would You Do?” sets up everyday scenarios and then captures people’s reactions. This series looks at what people actually do in difficult situations, not what they say they would do. How they act in the face of dilemmas is a test of their character and values.
This started me thinking about how we, as believers, are also tested in how well we love our neighbors not only in difficult situations but also in everyday casual interactions.
Here are a few scenarios for your consideration:
Scenario #1: You’ve just finished your shopping and are approaching the check-out lanes all of which have long lines. One cashier’s clothing style indicates that she may be from another country. What would you do?
Scenario #2: You witness a deli clerk treating two Latino customers rudely. What would you do?
Scenario #3: A devout Muslim woman wearing a veil is denied service by the owner of a popular bakery. What would you do?
Frankly, I would rather answer the question, “What would Jesus do?” It’s usually not hard to figure out what He would do. I can pat myself on the back that I know the answer but then go through my days without intentionally emulating Jesus. If I’m truthful the real answer to the question, “What would I do?” is sometimes embarrassing and convicting.
Throughout the Bible God instructs His people to love their foreign neighbors. In Leviticus 19:33-34 God says, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
God doesn’t mention anything regarding the legality of the foreigners’ presence; He only says to treat them as though they were native-born citizens and to love them the way we love ourselves.God asked the Israelites to draw from their own experience as foreigners in relating to and interacting with their foreign neighbors. Shouldn’t we also draw from our immigrant heritage in reaching out to the foreigners around us?
We are a country of immigrants. Almost all of our citizens have roots in other countries. Unless you are a full-blooded Native American, either you or one of your ancestors journeyed to the United States. Maybe it was your parents. Maybe it was someone 300 years ago. But someone in your family, for whatever reason, was uprooted from home and culture and traveled here, making the United States his or her new home.
So when it comes right down to it, today’s immigrants are just like us and our immigrant ancestors. They are hard-working, want to feed their families, want to give their children educational opportunities, and want to practice their faith. The next time our path crosses with an immigrant cashiering at the grocery store, standing in line at the post office, in our doctor’s office, or see him/her cleaning our office or mowing a lawn . . . I think we know what Jesus would do. What will we do…?
By: Sarah Miller