And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God blessed thee thou shalt give unto them. And though shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. -- Deuteronomy 15:12-15
This passage has to do with how the Hebrews were to treat those who served as their servants. They were told to be generous with them upon release and to do so in the remembrance that God had provided generously for them when they were slaves in the land of Egypt. A bit of a twist of the Golden Rule applies here: Do unto others as you have been done unto.
As I reflected on this particular command to remember, it occurred to me that gratitude is key in our dealings with others. We are to treat others well because of God's example towards us. We are to reflect the love, care and kindness that He's showered upon us in our relations with others. And I believe that applies, not only to those of like faith, but to those who have not yet come to the acceptance of His salvation. Too often in the Christian realm there occurs much "unbeliever bashing." We spend a lot of time using our tongues to put down, criticize, and slam those who are against God's ways. I think we resort to such things because we FORGET to REMEMBER that we were once slaves in Egypt, in sin, and that all of us, at one time, have been His enemies. Of course, I don't mean that we condone the evil that so many take part in, but the old phrase, "Hate the sin, love the sinner" certainly applies. We must view unbelievers with hearts of compassion and with the same desire that God does: that ALL men might be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:3-4). How can we, can I, bring them knowledge of that truth with disdain towards them in my heart?