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25. See people, love and forgive

My life (put) alongside God's word. Protecting peace section.

“Walwal-tung”. I learned this Nuer greeting so I could use it at the start of one sermon I preached in Khartoum Evangelical Church back in 2002. I wrote it into the front of the Bible I still use today. People loved it when I tried to speak in their language. I also remember the tasty “porridge” they shared with me for breakfast. The great pastor Gabriel I knew from there is now in glory! We will meet again one day.

All people are created in the image of God. This is clearly taught in Scripture, Genesis 1:26-27. We are all in the shape, form or pattern of God. “…(man) is the image and glory of God”, 1 Corinthians 11:7.

Every person matters to God

Since every individual is an “image” of God, each person matters. If you looked into the clean shiny porridge spoon you would see an upside-down reflection of yourself. However, it would not be crystal clear, like in a good mirror. It would be blurred, scratched, deformed in small or big ways. Similarly, the people around us have become

poor reflections of the God whose model they were made from. We are no different. Sin stains us all. Humanity’s fall into sin has meant that none of us is perfectly what God

made us to be. We must remember this when we are tempted to hate other tribal groups or despise different ethnicities of people.

See people the way God does

As Christians we must “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator”, Colossians 3:10. Even when our human brothers, sisters, cousins, or even our children are screaming for vengeance following the awful events of war, as Christians we must choose God’s view of “our enemies”. If God took an attitude of revenge out on us, we would all be on the road to an everlasting hell.

Love your enemies

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”, our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:44-45. When we die and arrive in eternity, our heaven or hell destination will not depend on our earthly tribe. Dinka, Moro, Nuba, Arab, English, will not matter at all. The only thing that will matter is have we become more and more like our Father who is in heaven? Are we like Jesus who was God in human form?

Forgive whoever sins against you

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”, Matthew 6:14-15.

These four choices are yours. Choose to be Christian in how you deal with all other people.


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