From Volume 2: When the day ahead involves situations with people we don’t want to deal with, it’s easy to shackle our joy. We may focus upon all that is bad about that person or the bad things they’ve done to us in the past. We must remind ourselves that EVERY person (including them) was created in the image of God. We are ALL (including us) equally unworthy of God’s love, and that’s why His Son had to die for EACH of us—no exceptions! Romans 5:8 says: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ didn’t die for a bunch of good people—He died for the people who were about to crucify and betray Him–oh, and us! Jesus taught us: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) But He didn’t just TEACH it—He LIVED it. He washed the feet of Judas Iscariot whom He KNEW would betray him and then challenged His disciples to follow His example: “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:2-5, 13-14) Jesus treated the person who betrayed Him in death and those who would betray Him in cowardice with love. He didn’t use THEIR sin as an excuse to withhold HIS love—and neither should we! When we hold in the forefront of our mind that even our worst enemy is created in God’s image, and that we are just as unworthy of God’s love as he is—then we live in truth, and truth frees us to love without fear. Children of God have blessed freedom while a person who lives in hate and fear–is shackled. Why should we be afraid of what a prisoner can do to us? We have the key to set them free through love—and we don’t have to worry about how they react—that is between them and God. We shouldn’t let them come between us and God—instead, we should just stay in the center of God’s will and, in love, serve our neighbor as ourselves. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13-14) I can courageously face my greatest earthly foe because I know that there is no fear in love and perfect love casts out fear!