“Is there a such thing as good and bad people?”
Silence. Awkward silence.
I couldn’t tell if my class was stumped or disinterested by the question. I tried to do the whole uncomfortable silence thing in hopes that one of them would respond but that didn’t last very long (Did I mention, I love to talk?).
“Ok, well, let me ask you this: Think about something you’ve done wrong and felt guilty about. Do you guys have something in mind? …Ok, now, let’s say someone somehow knew about what you had done and proceeded to classify you as a bad person. What do you think about that?”
Every time we listen to a sound byte on the latest celebrity scandal, there’s usually a label thrown into the mix. Drug addict, alcoholic, rich kid, or just plain messed up. We like to categorize based on the things we know. But do we ever take a moment to step back and consider the injustice of seeing a person as the sum of their mistakes rather than taking the time consider the beautiful person God created them to be? How would we feel if we were on the receiving end?
People could think of me as smart or professional or quiet. Or they could label me as boring, overly emotional, religious, or stubborn. Yet by doing so, they lose the essence of who I am – the goofy girl who loves to laugh, sing, read, and write. The girl who spends her mornings getting ready with Hindi music in the background and dances in the bathroom while she combs her hair. The girl that God lovingly observes when she’s really in her element.
I had an aha moment during my first foray into job searching post-undergrad. It had been a frustration of fruitless efforts for several months. After years of knowing exactly where I was going (for the most part), I was lost in the whirl of figuring out what to do with the rest of my life, doubting my decision to major in a liberal arts field, and questioning my competency. As I sat and worked through all these things in my head, one thing became crystal clear to me. God loves me regardless!
If I fail, if I succeed, if I take a wrong turn; he loves me! His love is not conditional. Even when I sin, he loves me. Granted, he hates the sin, but he LOVES me! To God, who I am has nothing to do with what I’ve achieved, where I’ve been, or where I’m going. He’s the one who created me in the first place. He loved every aspect of what he was putting together when he made me. And he sent his son to make sure that my sins wouldn’t ever separate me from his love.
No one else can love me that way. No one.
13 When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross.
from Colossians 2
[New Century Version (NCV)]