It is common, He explains, for us to relate in a positive way to our friends and in a negative way to our enemies. Contrary to the popular way of handling those who cross us, the Great Teacher calls us to love our enemies in order that we may be like our Father in heaven. He makes the sun to rise on both the righteous and the wicked We too, should encircle with our love and blessing those who do wrong along with those who do good. Jesus says this is what it means to be perfect as God is--to love like God loves.
Not only does God give love and send sunshine to every person, He also "gives light to every man who comes into the world', John 1:9. To every inhabitant of earth God imparts a degree of spiritual enlightenment by which each one may be guided to know of the Creator's existence and sense their need of Him. "He also has planted eternity in men's hearts and minds (a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy)" Ecclesiastes 3:11, the Amplified Bible.
Since God lavishes undeserved life and light and love on saint and sinner alike should we not regard one another with at least equal compassion and patience?
When you notice the sins of others it will be helpful if you remember a few things:
* Before you knew the Lord He did not count your sins against you; (see 2 Corinthians 5:19.)
* He saved you according to His mercy, not by works of righteousness that you have done (see Titus 3:5)
* No one has ever committed any sin of which you yourself are not capable (see Titus 3:3).
*Your eagerness to condemn sin in another person may be a reflection of our own guilt (see Romans 2:1)
*How would you fare if God were to hold you as accountable for your sins as you hold others accountable for theirs (see Matthew 7:2)?
Those who allow themselves to be embraced by the love of God will embrace others with that same love. They understand that God won them by forgiveness, and by the same means they will seek to win sinners and restore backsliders. In the light of God's love expressed toward us at Calvary how can we regard others with any less compassion than He has shown us? The goodness of God led us to repentance. Only in the light of His goodness should we expect others to turn from sin to the Savior.
And many will if we let them.
Lord God, your mercy is beyond me to fully grasp. It is truly amazing that You have regarded me with such tender compassion. Thank You for not holding my sins against me before I knew You. Please help me to relate to others with the same attitude so they will be drawn to You and not repelled. I pray in the merciful name of Jesus. Amen.