I was watching Braveheart again the other day. Wallace was tortured to death for a bunch of people who abandoned him on the battlefield and were just really rotten folks. And I asked myself, "Why give your life for people? People REALLY stink. Most of them are cowards, liars, self-centered and low down rotten, sorry individuals. Why die for such people?" Then the Holy Spirit reminded me what the Bible teaches. Humans bear, very imperfectly, the image of God- just as Mount Rushmore bears very imperfect likenesses of 4 renowned American Presidents. To deface, disrespect or even neglect those images is an act of tremendous disrespect for the persons after whose likeness the images were made. This is exactly why God calls for capital punishment in Genesis 9 for those who murder humans (image bearers). God takes it personally. This is also why Jesus said, "When you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." But here's the thing. If you do ministry because you love people for people's sake... you've got your head in the sand! But if you do ministry to honor the God whose image really sorry people bear- then their sorriness is no deterrent for you. I cannot die for human beings. I do not like them. I do not like myself because I am one of them. But I can give my life for the perfect God whose image they (we) bear.