God Whom They Have Not Seen
“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
Hate used to be a strong word - nowadays, it can mean anything from mild discomfort, “I hate this humidity” to admiration, even. “I hate you”, when your friend fits into the perfect dress and you don’t. Webster defines hate as “intense or passionate dislike”. But we have watered it down, blurred the definition.
I used to think the opposite of love was hate, but God says, nope, it’s fear. Verse 18a says, “There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear.” And verse 8: ”Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
If we travel back to the time of this writing, we see that John is addressing the new Christians, who were Jews and Gentiles, historical enemies. ‘Intense and passionate dislike’ was very prevalent. The apostles had to break down those barriers, bringing unity, harmony and peace in the body of Christ.
We have that same responsibility today. The opposing parties differ, but the concept remains. Fear of the unknown, the different-from-us mentality is at the core of racism and bigotry. Churches have split over things as silly as musical preferences! This is not of Christ. He lives in each one of us, verse 12: “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.” His love puts others first, forgives and forgets, heals hurts and smoothes ruffled feathers.
“In whatever you do, don't let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves.” ~Philippians 2:3
Have a blessed day!
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