20 If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. - 1 John 4:20-21
Your love for God is on display in the record of your actions toward the person in your life you find hardest to love. God didn’t write these verses for those who are easy to love - He wrote them for those who are the most difficult to love. Those who are annoying or inconsiderate, those who are harsh and rude, those who have hurt us deeply.
We love a sovereign God. This truth means God reigns over every aspect of our lives. He is the master chess player who orchestrates every intersection, allowing for every relationship. There are no accidents. Each and every person in your life was allowed to enter your life by Him. He knew the difficult people you would encounter long before you met them, He knew who would be irritating and who would be hurtful.
He also knows your heart, and sees more clearly where it needs to be chastened. He sees hidden prides, secret idols, and sin that is often unknown to even us. He wants to root that evil out of us. His desire is to transform our self-centered hearts to be more and more like Christ, who loved others perfectly without condition and without judgment. So, He sends people into our lives who bubble up to the surface those areas of our hearts that are not yet refined. Conflict demonstrates where we are not yet in line with Him. In other words, if you are in conflict with another person, there is sin in your heart.
The problem is we’re often much better at recognizing what the other person is doing wrong than holding up a mirror and seeing our own sin. Their sin is so big in our eyes, that we justify our unloving response. We have a right to our response because their sin is so wrong.
Our judgment of others crushes love. We think everyone should be like us - that’s means they should prioritize the same things and they shouldn’t struggle with the sins we don’t struggle with. We measure others by our yard stick, comparing their shortcomings to our accomplishments, and sit in judgment of their lives. Then we shame them by spreading their shame to others. All of this crushes the love of God.
God, forgive us for the way we always put ourselves before others and help us to love those you have put into our lives to grow us.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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