John 3:17 — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (NKJV).
If God did not send Jesus to condemn the world, then He certainly didn’t send us to. Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (NIV). Believers have already been set free from condemnation, so it’s futile for us to put on them what God has removed. As far as unbelievers are concerned, Jesus said He came to seek and to save the lost, not to avoid and punish them (Luke 19:10).
Consider a condemned building. There is a town located just over the interstate from us that has several homes that have either been condemned or should be. The houses are run down and the lawns have grown up around them. They are uninhabitable and have been declared, or judged, to be unfit for use or service. The only purpose they have now is to take up space until they’re torn down and removed altogether. There’s no hope for remodeling.
Now, apply this example to the people who have wronged or hurt you. When we hand down a guilty verdict and condemn an offender, we basically pronounce the person useless, worthless, and unfit to do anything purposeful. We slap a “Keep Out” label on his forehead, surround the perimeter with yellow caution tape, and warn others to stay back at least a hundred feet.
Love hopes all things, reminding us that everyone has the capacity to change. Most people hurt others because they need healing. Mercy keeps this in mind. Nobody deserves to be written off, or condemned. God has divine purpose and plan for everyone. I realize these truths are often the furthest things from our minds when we’ve been sinned against, but the love of God is ever ready to believe the best of every person (1 Corinthians 13:7, AMP).
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