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"Just love everybody. I'll sort 'em out later. — God"

When I first read that quote recently on a church reader board, I thought that it was a bit flippant and irreverent. After all, the "everybody" in today's world indeed includes many who are far from seeking God, living life simply to please themselves. Am I truly expected to love everybody, even hardened criminals? Yet, there is a kernel of truth in that quote.

Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (NLT)

Loving everybody can take at least two forms: forgiving others and not judging others. Forgiving others means releasing my right to demand judgment or recompense when someone wrongs me, instead leaving it up to God to mete out whatever punishment He deems fit. We know that God is absolutely fair and just, and He will not overlook sin. He will, indeed, "sort 'em out later." Justice will be paid, whether now or later. It is not my prerogative to set myself up as moral judge and jury.

Luke 6:37 – Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. (NLT)

Not judging others doesn't mean that we must condone or approve of someone else's sinful behaviour, nor does it absolve them of wrongdoing. Sharing with others the gospel of salvation is imperative.

Because of how God deals with sinners, we must forgive others because we ourselves have been forgiven much. We must relinquish our tendency to judge the actions of others because we ourselves are guilty of so much. One practical example for me regards following recommended protocols during this time of pandemic. I am accountable for my own actions, but I must choose not to turn friends into enemies if they don't agree with me.

A heart of forgiveness will result in loving and considerate actions toward others as we follow Christ's example of loving us. This may involve not looking the other way when our society seems to moving farther and farther away from God's commands. There are appropriate ways to be a steady influence for good through our personal example and in even more direct ways, such as our vote. Prayer for our nation and its leaders is a powerful force.

What are you — what am I — doing as we walk daily through a sinful world? However hopeless things look, let's love others around us and leave the judgment up to God.

Prayer: Dear God in heaven, give us grace to show love and consideration to everybody around us — whether they deserve it or not! Since You have forgiven us much, cause us to remember that we are to evidence a heart of forgiveness toward others. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <gail10833@gmail.com>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Gail.


    Needed advice, Gail.


    Wow, do we Christians have large challenge get this right! Blessings.


    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings and Prayers.


    Hi Gail,
    This devotional hits the nail on the head! So well put and to the “point”.


    Gail,
    Great reflection. Thanks for writing it.
    (CA)


    Good morning Gail
    Thank you for devotional today. Good reminder for all of us.
    God bless.


    O Gail! WHAT a joyous, useful, thoughtful piece of writing today. Just delighted to see it was from you! And thank you for a wonderful, deep, and perfect devotional today.


    Dear Gail,
    I love the quote and am going to make a little placard to go over my kitchen table. It is so practical, and yet sometimes hard to do. And yet, God will strengthen us to do this as we seek Him. Thank you.


    Thanks. I’ve enjoyed your writings. I have lost a friend during this pandemic. Not because of judging but because I refuse to hang around someone who denies the whole thing. She may think I’ve judged her, and we’ll discuss that when we can meet in person again. God is in the scientists, info as far as I’m concerned so I’m letting God sort the rest. Enjoy Monday of this new week.


    Greetings Gail,
    Many thanks for another great devotional. Right now, with so many things happening in our world, it is more important than ever that we think things through and show more respect and love for one another. We need be more willing to follow our Lord’s actions and consider forgiveness rather than retaliation.
    Blessings for your thoughtful writings.


    Once again you have “hit the nail on the head.”
    Thanks, Gail. I have found myself slipping especially during this time of Pandemic.
    “Why is she not wearing a mask?”
    “They’re having a party?”
    “Look at all these teens!”
    It’s so easy, but how much more do our neighbours need to be loved and accepted just now?
    Your DD was very helpful for today and every day!
    (BC)


    Thank you for this Devotional.
    I REALLY struggle with this spiritual aspect of my walk with Jesus. I think the numerous past hurts have caused me to instantly suspect, rather than trust. I pray every day for Jesus to ‘heal the past’ and ‘change my heart’ and ‘pour more of His love into my heart that I may show the same mercy toward others’ but it’s still my first reaction and I hate it.
    I even placed the following a verse on my cell phone so I can turn to it daily.
    I find this ‘sin’ within me, quite disturbing, so thank you for yet another reminder.


    Dear Gail,
    The sharing of your thoughts on this is so similar to mine that I could have written it. I truly believe that is what God wants us to do but it is easier to know it than to put it into action. Therefore, devotionals help to remind me and reinforce it in my brain so that I can try with the nudging by the Holy Spirit to act lovingly to everyone. I know that when I am treated with love, I respond in a more loving, gentle way and so it is even more important to treat others that way because I do not know why they are acting the way they do. Once again, thank you for prodding me to follow the example that Jesus set for us and to remember how much I need God’s forgiveness. May you be blessed today with feeling the love of others and of God.


    Morning, Gail,
    When I read what you write, I feel that I am communicating with an “old” friend. It has been an interesting time in Texas. When I was speaking by phone to a college friend who lives in Arkansas, I said, “Do you think from the news that everyone in Texas is running around blindly ignoring safety precautions with COVID?” She said, “yes.” I told her that in my opinion was one of the problems with the news media today. Believe it or not, Texans are not avoiding caution. But there are a large number of our friends who are not being vaccinated for various reasons that I don’t get. Nonetheless, they are friends and, as you so aptly say, God really does love us all.
    Hope all is well with you and those you love…and thanks for writing another devotional.

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