Pastoral Perspectives

Love People

People are created in the image of God! The Bible teaches us that we are created in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26-27). We are reflections of God. God loves people because people matter to Him. If God loves people, then shouldn’t we love people too? Do people matter to us? If we love people, then people matter to us. Love people for who they are and not for what they do.

We bear the image of God! Bearing the image of God is such a privilege! Wherever you and I are, we represent God to others. We are what we call: “God’s Image-Bearer”. We bear the image of God wherever we are. In the Bible, we also know that we are ambassadors for Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:20). We are also God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (see Ephesians 2:10). People see God in and through us but sometimes, if not often, we misrepresent God. Is God kind and loving? We know that He is but is His kindness and love reflected in our lives: our words and our actions? We say one thing but do the opposite, i.e. do the other thing, thing we should not even have done! We approach people of our same kind and avoid those who are different from us! We avoid people whom we classified as “weird”. It is sad, isn’t it? Imagine that our God is in our midst and watching all that we say and all that we do, how does He feel? Wouldn’t He walk away from our church disappointed and despaired? We are commanded by our Lord Jesus to love one another but did we obey Him and His commands? To love people is to accept people as they are and not to fit them into our mould and our likings. I am reminded that we are made in the image of God. To love people is also to forgive people if they have wronged us. We must avoid being too picky against one another. If Christ has forgiven you, then you should forgive others (see Colossians 3:12-13).

Loving people is also equivalent to loving God. When we speak bad against a person, we are indirectly speaking against God who made that person. We are instructed to bear with one another in love. We sometimes get impatient and uptight against one another. We are instructed to build one another up in the faith. We sometimes neglect those who are in great spiritual needs. When our sarcastic or unkind remark against a person tears down and hurts that person for whom the Lord created and loved, we tarnish the image of God. This very action displeases the Lord. To love people is to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit of God to people around us. If you see a person in distress or despaired, what will your very action be? Shouldn’t we be sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord and minister to him or her accordingly? When you have the love for people, you will not hesitate to reach out your hands and offer a helping hand to that brother or sister in Christ. We don’t need to be told what to do. The love of Christ in each of us will constrain us to reach out and minister and pray for that brother or sister in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:14-15). When we know whom we are living for, loving people becomes less strenuous.

Love people (and not things) should be our Christian attitude developed and deepened in this community of believers here at True Way. It is never easy to love people as there are all kinds of people around but we have the Spirit of God and the love of God in us to enable and empower us to do so. We need to ask God daily to overflow us with His powerful, life-transforming love so that we may love others without reservation!

If we are to love people, we must spend time with people, reaching out to them. We need to make time for them. Look at our Lord Jesus and how He made time for people! We need to be patient with them: listen to them and understand them and their struggles and needs. Understanding people and how they feel are crucial in loving them. Each person is unique and special in the sight of God. Their upbringings and needs are different. Avoid judging and criticising people but accept them and appreciate them for who they are in Christ.

I pray that we will walk in obedience to our Lord’s command to love one another just as He has sacrificially loved us. I uttered this prayer: “Lord God Almighty, teach us to love people. We desire to be like Christ. We desire to learn from Your beloved Son Jesus how He loved people. Overflow us with Your powerful, life-transforming love. In Jesus’ most majestic and magnificent Name, we humbly ask. Amen.”

Pr George Ang

March 12, 2017