God created man in his image. He created Adam and Eve and Mac and Sue and Bob and Bessie and Maurice and Janey. He created all men and all women in his image. For all eternity. We all bear his stamp whether we believe in him or not.
God’s creation is good. Our good God creates good. We can choose evil, but we can also choose good. It is our decision. God does not make evil people. People choose to do evil.
God loves his creation. He loves ALL of his creation. He loves Adam and Eve, the first sinners. He loves David and Joseph and Moses. He loves Lydia and Mary and Martha. He also loves those who choose evil. He does not love their evil, but he loves them. And those who choose evil always have the potential to turn to good by turning to God.
As his image bearers we are called to love God, to love other believers and to love EVERYONE else. We are not to pick and choose those we love. We are to love them all, even if some are easier to love than others. God loves each of us and everyone of us.
…. And he calls us to do the same.
He calls us to love even those who choose evil. This love does not condone evil. This love loves despite the evil. God’s love is like that. He looks beyond the evil to recognize his image dwells in each of us.
Loving everyone stretches us. It grows us into becoming more like God as we choose to love even those who choose evil.
Do we do this because it is easy?
No, we do this because this is what God does for us. We do this to not only bear his image, but to reflect his image. As we love everyone his love is reflected in us. You see, love is not about deserving. It is about embracing what we are receiving from God and turning and sharing with another.
If God followers only love other God followers we will miss out on loving those who are difficult to love. We will also miss out on the growth that will come as a result of learning to love those who others do not. It is in doing the difficult that who we are becomes more like who he is. And when we love like this we are doing God’s work.