Not Easy, But Crucial

10 Jan

Beloved, we love God because
he first loved us. 
If anyone says, “I love God,”
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen 
cannot love God whom he has not seen. 
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother.  (1 Jn 4:19-21)

“And who is my brother?”

This is the question that could easily be asked after reading the passage above.  It was asked, just that way, in the Gospels one time and the asker got more than he bargained for because Jesus answered quite clearly.  The implication to Jesus’ answer: everyone is a brother (or sister).

Therefore, if we say we love God, we must also love — wait for it — everyone!

Not just our biological brothers or sisters.  (And we all know how difficult that can even be at times.)

Not just our friends.

But also our enemies and all those who, in one way or another, repulse us.

God does not run an “exclusive club” and neither should we.

God is a rather inclusive God and He wants us to be a rather inclusive people.

If we say we love God but are not willing to include everyone into our lives, we are liars and shams.

So, break out the love, the acceptance, the understanding, the patience and whatever else it will take to include everyone.  Because in leaving anyone out in the cold, we leave our God.  And we know how much that will displease Him.

FAITH ACTION:  As much as you have been challenged to love recently, is there anyone that you actively keep out of your life?  Make a real, honest attempt to include that person today.