In 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, we learn that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (v.6). This means believers aren’t to dwell on the harm others cause and write them off as hopeless, despicable criminals. Love enables us to hate the evil unjustly visited upon the innocent while valuing the one who committed the act. More simply, we hate the sin but love the sinner.
In spite of everything that seems apparent about someone who’s been driven to sinful actions, God has created him or her with the potential to be made into something good. Outwardly, it may seem as if a difficult upbringing, poor treatment, or negative influence has corrupted a person’s morality and worldview beyond repair. For such individuals, the capacity to love and rise above circumstances can get buried so deep that it may seem nonexistent.
God still considers the most evil and corrupt person worth saving. How do I know this is true? Because John 3:16-one of the very first verses we teach children-He said that whoever believes in God’s Son will have eternal life. Many of us are guilty of thinking we deserve His love because we look good compared to those we deem unlovable. But God doesn’t work that way. He loves every single person, no matter how awful his or her sin may be.
God doesn’t want anyone to mistreat others; such sinful action will bring repercussions or discipline. But the Lord does extend His care, mercy, and salvation to anybody who wants it. He keeps no record of wrongs. He loves without conditions. And He wants us to love in the same way.
Commentary from In Touch Devotional magazine by Charles Stanley, May 4, 2017.