April 27, 2018
John 4:17-21…“Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” vs. 20
John sets a high bar for believers! In his estimation, loving God isn’t as easy as it might seem. Not only do we have to figure out how to be generous with what we call possessions, we also have to love the people with whom we have the closest associations. So many Christians don’t get that. We see them regularly in our congregations, critical frowns on their faces, tart comments on their tongues, every manner of prejudice in their hearts. They’re quick to judge and slow to forgive–and yet they claim to love God and will join in singing God’s praises–provided they approve of the song! Admittedly, it’s not easy to love our brothers and sisters. Their flaws and disagreeable habits are so apparent, and sometimes it’s hard to get by their irritating behaviors. But John says that unless we love them we can’t love God. Does that mean we have to have warm feelings toward our neighbors? No, but it does mean speaking well of them, acting kindly toward them, and deciding to treat them as we would like to be treated. The highest form of love is a decision and is not dependent on the vacillating inclinations of our hearts. But the miracle is that when we do decide to love someone and set our mind to it, the heart will be sure to follow. Love is that powerful!
Thought for the Day: Someone that I find hard to love.