VI. We should seek the good of everyone, friend and foe.

1. That we may not become weary of doing well, for which the danger is near, the apostle has added that "love suffers long, and is not easily provoked."

The Lord commands us to do good unto all men without exception, though the majority are very undeserving when judged according to their own merits.

But Scripture here helps us out with an excellent argument when it teaches us that we must not think of man's real value, but only of his creation in the image of God to which we owe all possible honor and love.

The image of God, moreover, is most carefully to be regarded in those who are of the household of faith, because it has been renewed and restored in them by the Spirit of Christ.

2. If anyone, therefore, appears before you who is in need of your kind services, you have no reason to refuse him your help.
Suppose he is a stranger; yet the Lord has pressed his own stamp on him and made him as one of your family, and he forbids you to despise your own flesh and blood.

Suppose he is despicable and worthless; yet the Lord has deigned him worthy to be adorned with his own image.

Suppose that you have no obligation toward him for services; yet the Lord has made him as it were his substitute so that you have obligation for numerous and unforgettable benefits.

Suppose that he is unworthy of your least exertion; but the image of God which recommends him to you deserves that you surrender yourself and all your possessions to him.

If he has deserved no kindness, but just the opposite, because he has maddened you with his injuries and insults, even this is no reason why you should not surround him with your affection and show him all sorts of favors.

You may say that he has deserved a very different treatment, but what does the Lord command but to forgive all men their offenses and to charge them against himself?

3. This is the only way to attain that which is not only difficult, but utterly repugnant to man's nature: to love those who hate us, to requite injuries with kindness, and to return blessings for curses.

We should forever keep in mind that we must not brood on the wickedness of man, but realize that he is God s image bearer.

If we cover and obliterate manís faults and consider the beauty and dignity of God's image in him, then we shall be induced to love and embrace him (Heb. 12:16; Gal. 6T0-Isa. 58:7; Matt. 5:44; Luke 17:3-4).