“So God created human beings in his own image” (NLT)
All week I’ve been suggesting practical things we can do to love one another more fully. So today I’d like to bring the week to a close with this suggestion:
Acknowledge that every single person is made in the image of God. (Even those who think or believe differently than you.)
A powerful story from missionary Oswald Goulter makes the point. For 3 years he was in house arrest in China. But they promised to let him go if he returned home to America. So he said yes.
The first part of his trip took him to India. While there he learned that there were Jewish people sleeping in barn lofts because they had been denied entry to so many countries.
This bothered Goulter. Since it was close to Christmas he sought them out and said “Merry Christmas!” He kept asking these families what they’d like for Christmas. They seemed confused. “We’re Jews… We don’t observe Christmas,” they would say.
But Goulter persisted. “I know,” he said, “but what would you like for Christmas?… If somebody gave you something for Christmas, what would you like?” Many said they’d like some good German pastry. They hadn’t had any in so long.
So Goulter sold his ticket for home and bought them Christmas presents.
When he finally got back to America and explained what happened, some people confronted him about his actions: “Why did you do that? They don’t believe in Jesus!”
Goulter replied, “But I do. I do.”
You may disagree with someone. You may have a different kind of life. But whatever case, followers of Jesus do what Jesus says. And he tells us to love one another.
Maybe there are things about other people that you simply fail to understand. But we are called to love because every single person is made in the image of God.
By Matthew Ruttan
- “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns on January 31st.
- Today’s story is from Craddock Stories by Fred Craddock. Goulter was one of his friends.