“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, that he who Loveth God Loveth his brother also. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that Loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him” (1 John 4:20-5.1).
When I read this scripture, I immediately thought of the second most important commandment; love thy neighbor as thyself. However, I realized love is more than an emotion. It is an action. It is a way of life and should be on our minds at all times. It is not fleeting or dependent upon personal differences. God’s love should be flowing out of us to whoever is in need. Others should see us treating everyone with love.
James 2:1-2 says “My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘have a seat here please,’ while to the one who is poor you say, ‘stand there,’ or ‘sit at my feet,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?”
I was at a social gathering during the holidays where I saw someone arrive late, who clearly did not fit in with group. She was of a different socioeconomic status and appeared to be a little eccentric, possibly suffering from mental illness. She did not know the social etiquettes of the group, behaving a little inappropriately and was dressed differently. My husband I made a point to walk over and greet her, as did a few others. However, I noticed many Christians in the group grimacing and talking under their breath. I left the party with a bad taste for what had taken place. Then, a couple of weeks ago a sweet friend came to me crying. She said I made her feel left out. I would never do anything intentionally to hurt someone, but I realized that I was no better than anyone at that party. It doesn’t matter what I intended to do. What is important is to live consciously showing love to others. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it is an opportunity to grow as Christians.
As we go grow in Christ’s love, join me in remembering to go out of the way to show love inclusively. God bless you!