If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
1 John 4:20-21 NKJV
When I was a child, one of my favorite books was titled, “Are You My Mother?” The book told the story of a baby bird who found himself frightened and alone walking up to all manner of things and asking, “Are you my mother?”
If I recall correctly, the bird walks up to a dump truck. I think there may have been a traffic light and possibly a dog somewhere in there. The baby bird never stops searching and eventually learns the truth.
Unlike the bird, many “Christians” stop short of acknowledging the truth in front of us.
“He who loves God must love his brother also.”
Jesus did not say love those who look like you and think like you. There are no conditions attached.
I’ve noticed more and more “Christians” in their zeal to grasp God drift toward extremist doctrines and tendencies they condemn others for.
When we profess to know it all and throw around judgment about like birdseed, we place ourselves on a slippery slope where religion obscures fact. We beg God to forgive our sins, yet we readily highlight the flaws in others.
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV
Believers often loudly condemn others for all manner of things. The clothes they wear. Tattoos. Race. Religion. Lifestyles. Political beliefs!
And yes, I’ve been one of “those” people thinking I knew it all. Thankfully, the older I get the more I learn I don’t have all the answers. And I’m okay with that.
This post by Chris Martin really resonated with me.
How about we start with the basics and pursue that second commandment?
What if loving our brother is key to igniting a spark that draws people to God?
Not doctrine. Or rhetoric.
Are you my brother?
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Matthew 7:2-4 NKJV