Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
2 Corinthians 5:11-17
“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Here Paul highlights that the world looks at people differently than God. In fact, he and everyone else once looked at Jesus in a “worldly” way and completely missed Him. But Paul’s heart was transformed and he came to fear Jesus more than anyone or anything else. Because of that transformation Paul devoted his life to sharing the Gospel of Jesus with others. Now, when he looked at other people, he did not see racial, ethnic, language, or religious differences. He saw humans created in the image of God and deeply loved by God. In fact, they were loved so much that God came down into this world to pay for their forgiveness. No one is worthless. We may have people in our lives that are hard to love and we often forget that many of the issues we face in this world are rooted in broken hearts and lives. Let us focus on Jesus and ask God to transform how we see others.