1 John 4:20-21
There have been many, many times as a parent when I have heard loud thumping upstairs and called out to my children, “What are you doing up there?” And of course, the answer is always, “Nothing.”
That’s the loudest nothing I have ever heard. Are they doing nothing? No, they are doing something and it is usually something they should not be doing. Their words and their behavior do not match up.
John continues his commentary on expressing love in faith in today’s passage. What is the connection between loving God and loving our fellow human beings? Why would it be easier to love another person? What is the requirement of loving God?
Just as my children’s words do not always match what is going on, there are times when we as believers do not live out what we are saying. We may claim that we love God, we may claim that we love our brothers and sisters in the world, but if we do not actively express that love to the people we encounter, we are not truly able to love God.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that so many who claim to be Christians are unable to love all people. Prejudice, bias, anger and hatred all still raise their ugly heads even in the most devout worshipers in the greatest churches. Simply claiming the name of Christ does not make us Christians nor does it make us children of God.
To be a child of God, to be a person who loves God, we must also love our brother. This is almost a test for us. We can see other people. They are here and real, something which can be touched and seen. If we cannot love another person, someone we can actually see and therefore have mercy upon, how can we possibly have genuine love for our God who is an unseen entity?
As hard as this may be it is God’s command that we love one another. If we love God we must love our brother.
DAILY CHALLENGE: What must change for you to truly love all God’s children?