The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3

We tend to have a code of how we deal with customers, suppliers, investors, and other people in business relationships.  We want to treat them fairly, but not generously.  We want to fulfil our commitments to them, unless it becomes really disadvantageous for us to do so.  We don’t mind if they come in second, as long as we come in first.

Families are different.  In families, we will put others’ needs ahead of our own.  We might make real sacrifices to keep our promises to the members of our family.  We are prepared to be second, if we can help them win.  When they were small, I overpaid each of my children for doing some chores around the house, and was happy to do it.

If we were to look at how God relates to us, all of us, he clearly treats us more like family members than business associates.  He loves us and provides for us like a loving father does for his children.  He takes care of us, even at the greatest cost to Himself.  He sacrificed His only son to enable us to live.

But God doesn’t just treat us like family, He treats us as family.  God’s whole strategy from Genesis 12 forward was to create a family for Himself, starting with Abram, and then invite the rest of us to join it.  If we are in Christ, we have joined the family of God.

How are we at inviting people into that same kind of relationship that God has offered us, into our family?  Do we insist on keeping the people we work and live around every day as secondarily important at best?  Could we not invite them into our family, agree to care about them, sacrifice for them, love them?  If we want to obey God, we must love like God, the same people He loved, in the same way He loved them.