Loving One Another…Because!

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          February 1, 2016

                                   

   “The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God IS love- so you can’t know him if you don’t love.” (1 John 4:8, The Message)

Yesterday I worshiped as a part if a congregation that is meeting in an elementary school. I’ve been the basketball coach of the pastor’s daughter for the past two years. The message was about loving one another. The pastor made the point that John was speaking to believers about loving one another.

A powerful element of the message was a video of several believers reading scathing emails that they had received from…OTHER BELIEVERS! The emails condemned the readers of various things from being Republicans, as well as Democrats, having tattoos, wearing skinny jeans as a worship leader, being homeless, being a single parent, and being gay. My heart sunk as I realized I was seeing the faces of the very people who got venomized.

My spirit is still wounded by emails that I’ve received over the years from other believers, from the very people I have been a pastor to. The interesting thing is that I can not remember such communications coming from anyone that I have NOT been the pastor to. The venom has always been from those who say they are Christians.

John connects the hard-to-hear dots: If you spout hate at your brother or sister in the Lord you’re missing a major piece of your Christian identity. In essence, you are half a believer, which makes you a non-believer.

Some may question how I can say such a thing. It’s not me! It’s what John is saying. If a follower of Jesus, who was wounded for out transgressions, seeks to purposely wound his Christian brother or sister…he has missed it! He has misunderstood the gospel, maybe skipped out on the weekly lesson that dealt with love.

Here’s a hard thing to hear! Not everyone who is a part of a church, even a part of ministering in a church, is a follower of Jesus. There are those who believe and practice righteousness, but have not love; there are those who practice a moral life and love, but don’t believe; and there are those who have faith and love, but are morally corrupt. A Christ-follower brings those three elements all together, but you know something? Lacking love is the main disqualifier!

I’m still disturbed by the faces of the wounded I saw yesterday. Disturbed because the disheartening comment is too often true, that Christians are the only people who shoot their wounded.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, Christianity, Community, Faith, Jesus, love, Pastor, Story, The Church, Uncategorized

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