When People Become Things

I am different things to different people…and the key word is “things.”

To the bank teller, I am an account number.

To the mailman, I am an address.

To the doctor, I am an appointment.

To the politician, I am a vote.

To the government, I am a taxpayer.

To the salesman, I am a commission.

To the barber, I am an easy twelve bucks.

To the airline, I am a seat number.

To the desk clerk at the hotel, I am a room number.

To the internet spammer, I am an email address.

And on and on it goes.  We live in a very impersonal world.  And sometimes that tendency to dehumanize filters over into our personal relationships.

This is why the number one complaint of wives is that they feel taken for granted by their husbands.  They feel like their husbands just see them as the person who cooks the meals and does the laundry.

It’s also the reason why the number one complaint of husbands is that they feel taken for granted by their wives.  They feel like their wives just see them as the person to call when the car needs fixing or the lawn needs mowing.

One of the reasons why people loved Jesus so much, even to the point that they were willing to die for Him, was because He affirmed them as people and gave them significance.

Do you remember the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52?  Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road when they heard a blind beggar calling to Jesus.   The disciples immediately tried to shush him.  The Bible says they yelled at him to be quiet and leave Jesus alone.

Why did they do this?  Because when they looked at Bartimaeus, they didn’t see a person, they saw an irritation.  They saw a delay.  They saw a distraction.  But when Jesus looked at Batimaeus, he saw a man with feelings….a man who was hurting….a man who wanted to be healed, which is why he stopped and healed him.

If you’re a husband, wife, parent, employer, supervisor, coach, teacher, administrator, server or salesperson, stop and look closer at the individuals around you.  They’re more than just family members, employees, customers, commissions, students, or problems.  They’re people, and they deserve to be treated as such.

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One Response to When People Become Things

  1. Sandy Chesser says:

    Very true, Mark, instead of looking for the good in people, we find it easier to tear them down. If we affirmed others more and valued them more than ourselves as Jesus did and taught us to do, we’d have a better world and the peace that passes all understanding.

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