Who Can You See?
1 John 4:19-21
Verse 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
After discussing how we are to be peacemakers it is important to remember that we will learn to love each other as God has called us to only when we realize the connection loving Him has on our loving each other.
Although none of us would admit to hating a fellow believer the truth is that our attitude towards some of our church family is far less than loving. It isn’t that we act out against them or even talk against them but our treatment of them is either less than loving or non-existent. The sad thing is that we don’t even see that as a problem for our spiritual walk.
One of the things that keeps us from being fruitful for the kingdom is sin in our lives. John tells us that this sin reveals more about the truth of our heart than most sins do. The reason is that it shows how we feel about God. In fact John says in our key verse that if we don’t love our fellow believers we can’t love God. He goes as far as saying we are liars if we claim to love God and yet hate other Christians.
I’m sure that is something we would all like to refute but John makes the point that it is foolish to think that we can love the God, whom we haven’t seen, when we can’t love those whom we have seen. But that is the whole reason it is hard to love them, isn’t it? We can see the things they do that we don’t like. We can see the things they do to us and those we love. We see their sins that we think we have conquered or would never do. We see them as horribly sinful and see ourselves as better.
This pride may be the very sin that is the real issue. When pride is reigning we don’t see the sin in our lives and therefore don’t see our need for the God of the universe. When we are stuck on who we think we are, we are more likely to live for self. Sure we may being doing things that look like obeying God but in reality they are the things we do to feel better about ourselves and bring ourselves glory.
To live an abiding life we need to intentionally turn our attention from ourselves and make the decision to love God by loving others.
Making It Personal
Who do you struggle to love in the faith family? Why do you find it hard to love them? What step will you take to change towards loving them?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to hate someone? What does it mean to love someone? Why can’t we love God if we don’t love other people?
Father, thank You for teaching us how to love. Give us the strength and wisdom to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.