by Brandy Webb
Why is it that people can look at another person with complete hatred? Why is it that people will risk their lives to save endangered species, but have no problem killing unborn babies? Why is it that even Christians can look at another human being that thinks differently than them and feel neither love nor compassion? The answer: we live in a fallen world run by a fallen angel that has no respect for the fact that humans are made in God’s image.
The Deceiver has had thousands of years to deceive us into not respecting God or his image. If people had respect for God they would keep His commands, which teach us how to love Him and how to love each other (Matthew 22:37-40; ref. Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). If people had respect for each other they would agree to disagree, respect differences, respect human life, esteem others better than themselves, etc. Alas, I know this turn of events will not come until Christ’s return. However, as a Christian, I can strive to show the world that it is not impossible to respect God and to love God’s image. He created mankind in His image, and He saw that it was good (Genesis 1:27, 31).
I know we live in a sinful world that has a lot of hatred within it, but we are not to be of the world (John 17:14-16). We are supposed to be little “Kingdoms of God” in this world. We have God’s Spirit inside us who can aid us in being lights that destroy the darkness, if we choose to listen to His Spirit. In order to be lights, we have to behave like Christ, which means following His commandments (John 14:15), forgiving others (Ephesians 4:32), loving our enemies and praying for them (Matthew 5:44), and sacrificing ourselves for others (John 14:13). It isn’t easy to live like this, but it isn’t impossible because Christ wouldn’t tell us to live like this if it was impossible to do so.
The truth is, it is not our job to judge the world (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). We must let Christ judge the world. Our job is to not act like the world (Romans 12:2). The “ruler” of this world wants us to have strife with each other, which by the way God hates (Proverbs 6:19). The Deceiver wants us to watch the news and despise the opposing side. He wants us to fear. He wants us to look at each other not as human beings created in God’s image, but as some form of goo that is wasting valuable planet resources. He wants us to see all of our differences inside and out with judgment and condemnation in order to puff ourselves up in pride, and to believe the lie that we deserve more than someone else.
However, God’s truth states that everyone was made in God’s image. Christ died for all mankind because we all sin and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). All of us have broken God’s commands. All of us need grace, forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. God wishes for none to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
I do not condone sin, but I am a sinner. To say I am not a sinner would be a lie. Therefore, I cannot look at some other sinner and hate them for their sins. I may not agree with them. I won’t condone the sin. If they are a Christian, it is my job to lovingly confront them as it is theirs to confront me if I am the one sinning (Matthew 18:15). If they are of the world, it is Jesus’ job to “confront” them. It is my job to show them who Jesus is by how I treat them, and how I live my life.
Don’t be of the world even though we have to live in it. Don’t let Satan win. When you see someone whom you may not agree with, don’t dwell on their differences, see them as who they are, an imperfect human being that was created in God’s image. I believe it will give you peace instead of anger and hatred. It will be a balm to your soul. Focus on your own walk and leave the rest to God.