Everyone Matters

October 14, 2013

Friends,
People matter. Everyone matters. Each and every person. The guy who cuts others off on the freeway, the sullen clerk behind the counter, the friend who is inconsiderate, the boss who neglects to give due credit, the spouse who betrays, the janitor cleaning the bathroom, the foreigner who hasn’t learned our language, the neighbor who is too loud and too messy, and even that weird-looking loner at school. Everyone. Every single person matters. All have immense value.

Why? Why does each and every person matter and have value? It’s because God has created each individual and loved each one. God so fervently loves the world. (John 3:16) Yes, He hates sin, and He also loathes those who continue to rebel against His love and do evil. So how then are these two facts reconcilable? How can God love everyone, yet hate those who continue in their sin, deceit, pride, and brutality? (Ps. 5:5,6)

I don’t see it that hard to reconcile. Let’s think about it like this scenario:

We have children. We love them. We love them first and foremost because they are ours. We love them because we are responsible to care for them, raise them, protect them, train them, and develop a relationship with each of them.

Some of our children respond cheerfully and gratefully to our love, care, and training. But others act difficult, rebel, and show us anger and disdain. We, the parents, continue to extend love, but it is mixed with discipline. For some children this straightens them out so that they come to their senses and repent. But for some, they only rebel worse and run away. They thereby have left the presence of our care, protection, and love. Spiraling furthering into rebellion, these lost ones turn to more and more corruption so that through their continual practice of evil, and desire for evil, they themselves become evil. Cruelty, lust, treachery, murder… –these have filled the hearts of the children who we bore and once nurtured, but who chose to rebel and to continue to rebel.

What if one of these rebellious evil children became a murderer or a rapist? Would we still love him? What about if he became a mass murderer or a serial rapist? Would we still love him? Think about it. Think about the fact that he was the child we bore. Could we, would we, love him? I venture to say no. He would be so repulsive, I’d think, that we would find his name, his presence, and the thought of him utterly abhorrent. Ah, but what about this thought: What if he repented, called out to God to deliver him from himself and his demons, and truly (miracle of miracles!) was born anew?! Now, what does this thought do to us? It makes a faint spark of love jump within the heart, doesn’t it? Yes. So there it is –we hate the child we bore, yet we still love him too.

I believe it is similar with God. God created all people. Therefore, in this respect, all people belong to Him, for He is our Creator and we are His creation. He loves all He has created, yet concerning those who rebel, keep rebelling, keep wallowing in the filth of sin, and keep shutting their ears to their Creator’s appeals to repent, well then, God who hates sin lets them go and lets them be fused to that which they’ve clung to. Thus God’s hates them.

But, God also still loves the wicked. He loves because He Himself is love (1 John 4:16) and does not want anyone to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) So He looks for an intercessor. If one can be found, He pours His love into that person so that they will pray and exhort and be His ambassador. If that person continues to do everything He commands, then there is hope for the evil rebel to come to repentance.

Often there is not just one intercessor. Often God uses several, even many “stepping stones” –people who show kindness, love, and concern, and who rebuke, exhort, explain Truth, and give warning to the rebel, so that slowly but surely he comes to see himself for who he is and how direly he needs the Savior.

But do Christ-followers always know whom it is God is setting us up to meet and influence for Him? No, we usually don’t know. And this is precisely why we should always keep it in the forefront of our minds as we go about our daily schedules: “Everyone matters to God, so everyone matters to me as well, and every person is of great value to God, so every person is of great value to me as well. I will therefore take notice of everyone and treat everyone accordingly.”

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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