To despise other people, regardless of how evil, is to despise God (Proverbs 17:5). For instance, those considered as normal people, gloat at the calamities befalling the evil ones. But despising a person created in God’s image carries ramification of invalidating the one who created the evil person in His own image.
Christians fail on this particular principle. Despising evil people results from dislike of escalating evilness in the world. Christians attest to the need for evil people to repent, for this world to change for the better. This is fair and good.
But this is often followed by condemning and dissociation with such sinners. Basically, this is where Christians fall flat, though desiring to be identified as God’s Children. They practice conditional love, while God practices unconditional love. Who can deny that God loves good and bad people alike? (John 3:16-17).
Jesus is the opposite of what we see among those practicing Christianity. But before I dwell on details of what I mean by this bold statement, let us look at the most important scripture in the entire Bible—Genesis 1:26:
Then God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
The word of God is law and cannot be changed. The man created in God’s image, was given the responsibility to have dominion over God’s creation. Satan holds no legal right to have dominion on this planet. Interestingly, even God, in His spiritual nature, has got no legal right to have dominion over everything He created. He could, but doing so would be like violating His own law.
God’s Word cannot be violated willy-nilly. If God has a desire to intervene in worldly affairs He has to use humans, who have legal rights to control worldly affairs. This is why Abraham had to be used, before Sodom was destroyed. This is why Moses was used to free the Israelites from Egypt. God specifically used all prophets as His instruments, up to the time of Jesus. And this is why Jesus said whatever is bound on earth, shall also be bound in Heaven (Matthew 18:18).
Satan could not have succeeded in interfering with man’s dominion, without first deceiving Adam. Satan’s illegal access to the worldly dominion was allowed by Adam. Like God, Satan operates in worldly affairs through humans. This is because the legal responsibility of dominion remains with man, according to Genesis 1:26. All activities in the Old Testament pointed to future restoration of the lost Kingdom. The prophesied Messiah aimed at the restoration of that Kingdom.
God could have stopped the woman from taking the wrong fruit. But that would have been tantamount to violating God’s own laws. God did not have the legal right to intervene. However, the process leading to the emergence of Jesus, nullified that illegality. This is why the other name of Jesus is Emmanuel (God with us).
For the restoration of goodness on earth, God desires to intervene, using anyone who allows him/herself to be used by him. The so-called Lord’s Prayer clarifies this point. That prayer does not dwell on personal desires, as known today:
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for you Father knows what things ye have need of before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).
Notice carefully that I said “the so-called Lord’s Prayer.” Of course, this is not the Lord’s Prayer. It is our prayer, given as model for us to use in Prayer. Declaring it to be Lord’s Prayer implies that there is a different prayer, other than this one and indeed most people pray differently. They ask for favours from God. But God says He knows exactly what we need. This, therefore, nullifies all prayer petitions designed to obtain personal favours.
Jesus’ prayer model does not ask for personal favours necessarily. Instead, it seeks for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. And God’s will is for goodness to prevail among humanity. This prayer model is not a tool to be manipulated by the one pronouncing it to obtain one’s own will. It implies opening up to God and allowing Him to apply His own will, through one’s life.
Bear in mind that God has got no legal right to operate in worldly affairs. He is not responsible for all known evils of this world. The Prayer model is designed to grant Him with that legal right, through the petitioner who uses the prayer model. The only reward such a person gets is the privilege of becoming a God’s child:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).
Allowing God to operate through one’s life implies suspending one’s own rights, in favour of God’s will. This brings the challenge that true Christians face. The great things that God then decides to perform through them provoke persecution from relatives, business associates, Church mates and ordinary friends. God’s will is alien to the people of this world. That is why Jesus was crucified. Persecutions are inevitable for those allowing God to use them.
The good news is that persecutions are a sign that God uses one (Matthew 5:11-12). Those complaining simply avoid God’s will in their lives. It pains when people blame God for existent evils of this world. True Christians ought to blame themselves when things go wrong, than blaming the actual evil-doers.
Most Christians blame sinners, created in God’s image, without realizing that such behaviour is tantamount to blaming God, who Christians profess to worship. The will of God serves to reverse all the wrongs of the world. But, with the absence of people to be used by God, such evils persist. In this regard, even by criticizing the warped politicians, Christians have also committed serious crimes, such as committed by those considered blameworthy.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social instability. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
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