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. 1 John 4:20
This verse came up as a daily Bible verse yesterday and I was instantly convicted. I can’t claim to love God if I hate my brother or sister in Christ. Just take a second and think about that… That carries so much weight. I can think of all of the times where I said “Man I hate them” or “I really can’t stand them”. Notice that these statements are self-centered and not others focused. It’s not something they do but it’s my reaction. Instead of leaning in and showing them the love of Christ, I pushed them away or avoided them.
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and with all my strength. Then the second is, Love my neighbor as myself. If we are to say we love God then we must love others. As a Christian, there is no such thing as saying “I hate dealing with people.” “I’m not a people person, I can’t be around people for too long or I get annoyed.”. Jesus calls us to love others. Our God is a people person and we are to follow His example.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 1 John 4:16-17