Victoria Osteen - Be Good To People
Thank you, Lord. We are confident in you this morning, in Jesus' name. I want to remind us all today to be good to people. We have to be good to people. See, people matter to God. People matter most to God, and it's so easy these days to find things that we disagree on. There's so much information, there's so many things swirling that we can easily find things that we disagree on. You know, you're never going to agree 100% of the time with anyone. But the point that we need to make in our life to God, the things that we need to do is continue to show respect for people. We have to show respect whether we agree with people or not.
When we show respect, you know what we're doing? We are honoring God and we're promoting the Gospel. We're promoting the good news. We're saying, "God, I respect these people because they matter to you, and when I show respect, I'm showing the good news. I am promoting the Gospel on this earth". See, as a believer, the truth is, people don't really care what you say. They don't care if you go to church every Sunday, if you're honest, you don't lie, you don't steal, you don't cheat. You know what gets their attention? It's what you do. See, it's not what you say, but it's what you do in faith. It's what you do through faith that makes the difference, you know, especially in church.
In the church, we should make sure that we don't have petty disagreements. See, the church, no matter what your beliefs are, in the church of Jesus Christ, we should stand under the umbrella of the blood of Jesus Christ. All right, we should be in unity because that makes a difference to the people who aren't believers. That's what's gonna cause them to believe. That's what's going to get their attention. You know, I have seen believers literally argue over the different translations of the Bible. See, we're better than that. We're better than that. We've got to stay together. It's not what you know. It's what you do. It's how you act. It's how you show your faith.
How do you express your faith? Listen to what it says in Galatians 5:16, it says: "In Christ Jesus there is neither circumcision or non-circumcision. None of that has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love". That scripture is saying, "You may know a lot of stuff. You may know all the rules and you may know how to look really good and say the right things, but that is not where the value is. The value, in God's eyes, is us expressing our faith in him through love to other people". That's what gets people's attention, and that's what pleases God.
You know, some people are more difficult to love than other people, and that's just bottom line. See, it's easy to love people that love you, people that agree with you, see things the way you do. But there will always be people that are more difficult to love. And so let's just talk about that a minute, because that's the thing that we probably need to work on the most. It's loving in faith. See, sometimes you have to love in faith. See, Jesus was empowered on this earth by the Holy Spirit. It says that "He was empowered to do good". See, everywhere Jesus went, he did good. He did good. He was empowered. He was anointed with power to do good.
And you know, in doing good, he brought healing everywhere he went, and you and I have been anointed to do good. We've been anointed to bring healing to this earth, to promote the good news of Jesus Christ. That's what your anointing does, it brings God on the scene. It brings God on the scene. So we have to step back in this time of division and discord and disagreement, and we have to say, "What is my purpose"? My purpose is to further the Gospel. My purpose is not to get my opinion out there. I can do more through love than I can spreading my opinion. Because, see, God is the one who works through the expression of love, and when you are loving, when you are making conscious decisions to express your faith in God through love, God is working in your life.
I read a quote that says this. It says: "Faith acts before it feels". "Faith acts before it feels". You see, our flesh wants to feel it. We want to like you because you're like me. But the spirit, faith, the things of God says, "I am going to love in faith. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I'm going to remember that God loves you and you matter to God". You see, that's what faith says. Feelings say, "No way". Faith says, "I must, I must".
This is something that happened to me when I was in the 6th grade, and I never forgot this. I was just coming from lunch. I was in junior high school. And this girl, I think she was in the 8th grade, I had never even seen her before. I didn't know the girl. I've never talked to her. She walks up to me and she says, "I'm going to beat you up", and I was like, "Why"? She said, "I don't like the way you act". I looked at her and said, "I'll change"! Do you know, that girl looked at me, turned around, and walked off, and I never saw her again. I never saw her again.
It's kind of interesting that that's what came up out of me. I guess I didn't want to get beat up. You know, my mind, for a split second said, "I'm not changing. I don't even know who you are. You don't even know me". But thank God that's what came up, because I look back now and I think that simple answer, that simple answer of humility brought healing. Because think about this just a minute. If you disagree with someone, or if someone doesn't like you, or someone's causing you trouble, and you act the same way to them, maybe you disrespect them, nothing changes, nothing changes. You're going to dislike them. They're going to dislike you as much or more than ever before. Nothing changes.
But when you make a choice to love by faith, to express your love for God by loving other people, the potential for change is huge, and I believe the attitudes of our heart change. We dislike those people less and less and less when we choose to express our faith through love. That's why the Bible says, "Pray for your enemies. Pray for those who do wrong against you". You see, you may have some relationships in your life that will never change. Those people, no matter how kind you are to them, will never be kind to you. They'll never show you the respect that you're showing them. They may never change, but I can tell you this, you'll change. You'll change, and that's what matter the most to God.
God is not going to ask us how many people we changed. He's going to ask us, did we change? Did we walk in love? Did we express our faith through love? Because that's what's going to change everybody around us. That's what's going to change everyone around us. So, when you do good, let me tell you something, you're not only doing other people a favor. Because, see, you can't argue with somebody who won't argue back. You're not only doing them a favor and promoting love and healing, you're doing yourself a favor. You're changing, you're breaking down walls and barriers that would like to keep you limited. God will do great things in your life. He will enrich you when you choose to express your faith in love.
Listen to what it says in Proverbs 11:17, it says: "Those who are kind benefit themselves". One version says, "Your own soul is nourished when you're kind". See, when you're good to people, you're nourishing your own soul. You're bringing healing to them. If you love God today, if you want to live for him, then you need to step back in this world full of conflict and say, "I'm going to begin to express my faith in God by loving people, especially those difficult, unlovable people" you see, you can do more by your actions than you can by your words.
I want to encourage you today to look for opportunities to be good to people. Not only those who are difficult, but those who are in your own backyard. Maybe it's your coworker, maybe it's the man that mows the lawn, or maybe it's a family member that can use your help. The scripture says, "Don't withhold good when it's in your power to act". Listen, you're anointed to do good. You have the power to treat people right, whether you agree with them or not, and if you love God, God wants you to use that same love and express it through faith to all those around you because that's where the healing comes in, amen.