John 4:20-21 This
is one of those meaty passages in
scripture that cause us to really
check our hearts. It is very definitive and does not leave room for man’s
intellect. You can not say you love God but hate your brother. If you do, you
are a liar. Cut, dry and to the
this mean you allow people to mistreat you or over step boundaries when they
interact with you? No, but rather you respect others and demand the same in
return. Since my love for my brother
is a by-product of my love for myself and God, I must check my brother when he
is out of order because I would want him to tell me when I’m wrong.
thing that helps me is my internal barometer. I can tell when I lose sight of
my love for others -- I stop acknowledging (or regarding) their internal man by
getting stuck on what they have done or look like. Before I know it, I have
treated them badly because of my own feelings. That is when my internal
barometer kicks in. It speaks to me saying “Remember they are human and they have
feelings, fears, pain, and are fragile just like YOU!”
If you want to love all of mankind,
you must choose to
interact with them from your heart (the
same place that God interacts with us).
This requires a delicate balance because so many people are trying to run some
kind of scam to get over and in most cases they will mistake your kindness as a
weakness. So, be
discerning in your
dealing with others (saved and unsaved).
However, the heart approach will help keep our love and respect for others
genuine. In the end, you don’t want your
improper feelings about your brothers and sisters to block your access to God.