Anne Lamott, writer (1954- ) said...
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Exodus 20: 4 “Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals.
Matthew 5: 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ 44But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. 46Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! 47And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect!
The image we have of God determines everything in our lives. It determines our worship. It determines how we speak to and how we treat the people around us.
Jesus makes it clear that unlimited and infinite love is the way we show that we are like God. Jesus said that God's love is unlimited. It includes good and bad people. In contrast, the Gentiles and tax collectors lost their way. Their love is limited. They greet the people that greet them. They love the people that respond to their love with love.
Unfortunately, according to Jesus, many people have become like the gentiles - even those who speak of love. They even say that we should love our neighbour (Matthew 5:43). It sounds good. Unfortunately, they add that we should also hate our enemies (5:43). This is limited love. It is love that draws boundaries.
We all know how this pagan and sinful tradition took over our lives. We even think that God is like us. He loves the people we love. He is against the people that we don’t like.
If we think like this about God, we understand nothing of Him. It is our own creation. The perfect Father loves differently than we do. If we really want to become like Him, be called His children, we must learn to love like Him – without boundaries. This is how we worship the true God and not our own man-made little gods.
God of love, recreate me according to your image of love, so that I shall love all people, through the power of your Spirit. Amen.