I have been a Christian for over 30 years yet I have just begun to discover God’s plan for loving seemingly unlovable people. Hint: It has something to do with whose image I bear. Why should we as Christians strive to love the seemingly unlovable? Because Christ said so; he said “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matt 5:44 KJV) Being a military man, I remember something the great prophet Forest Gump once uttered. If you have seen the movie Forest Gump you probably remember Forest Gump’s boot camp adventure. It is hard not to admire Forest Gump’s obedience and simple response to a given command. If you recall the movie then you probably remember observing Forest and Bubba talking as they are cleaning and assembling their rifles. Remember when all of a sudden Forest shouts “done drill sergeant.” The drill sergeant comes rushing over hardly believing that Gump could be done assembling his weapon in such as short amount of time. When asked by the drill sergeant; “Gump, why did you put that weapon together so fast?” Gump’s simple and obedient reply was “Because you told me too; drill sergeant!” Gump’s simplicity seems to allow him to believe that what the drill sergeant had told him to do was for Gump’s own benefit. Likewise, when Christ commands us to love, bless, do good for, and pray for our enemies His Christian command is all we should need to love the seemingly unlovable. However, knowing truth and practicing truth are two very different things. I have discovered that Christians, myself included, have a knack for knowing a truth; yet seem to lack the ability to receive and then put this particular truth into action. I think we all know what a monumental undertaking it can be to love seemingly unlovable people. It can seem downright impossible. And it is if we try to love our enemies without a Helper.
So then, how can Christ give us such an impossible task as loving our enemies? He can do this because he left with, and deposited in us, through salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit the One who can help us see through the vulgar infectious worldly masquerade known as the “deeds of the flesh.” The Holy Spirit within us helps us see and show love towards “the Image” of which all humanity was forged. What image you ask? Why, God’s Image of course. No matter how tirelessly the world’s system works to obstruct, obscure, and tarnish the beautiful view of God’s image within us or our enemies; it is indisputable that we or they bear the unchanged Image of God. The Image of God is and still remains the true basis of all human identification ergo Christian Identity. The book of Genesis gives account of the Potter’s crafting of man. When the Potter sat down with all three persons of the Godhead he decided there is only one pattern for molding man. And since the communicable attributes of God, the Potter, include: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The only logical mold for man to be cast in is in the fruitfulness of said attributes. In full light of God’s Spiritual fruit, God made man in His very own image. To confirm that this forged and unchangeable casting was fully the intent of God upon firing and thus opening the unchangeable mold, God reflected on what he has just personally and perfectly crafted: “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely.” (Genesis 1:31 AMP) Let it be known that because “God is Love” love is objective and unwavering and it is in the power of this truth that we can love our enemies. Bear in mind as well that you were made in Love’s image. When we walk in, out, and apply this truth we walk in Love’s fullness. When we, bearers of God’s Image come under insults, slander, and persecution we stand strong in Love’s Image for Love’s sake. We, as Christian’s are wise to apprehend this truth so that when we stand in the face of our enemies we will not falter, and so that we have the power to raise Love’s flag over our enemy. Love’s flag is raised by and secured through our commitment to kind speech and faithful deeds towards seemingly unlovable people. What if we borrowed Daddy’s glasses for a while, and really got a chance to see who our enemy really is? I get the feeling Daddy’s glasses have a different prescription than ours do. Looking though our Daddy’s glasses we may just come to understand, that like us our enemy really is or can be “the righteousness of God In-Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Choosing Grace over retaliation can expose God’s Image in us and in our enemies.
In the beginning God did not paint any human portrait with a dirty brush! Again, at rebirth and reconciliation with God through Christ, God uses that very same brush? Nothing has changed but the paint. His Son’s sacrifice provided a beautiful crimson color that washes us as and our enemies white as snow. Thank you Jesus for loving us while we were yet sinners: Now may we by the power of your Spirit, obey you, by loving our enemies in the same manner you loved us!