I John 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar, for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen?
John continues his discussion about the love of God and he really hits a nerve with this verse. John says that it's not true if we claim to love God and still do not love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us think about this for a moment.
We all know people in the household of faith that we don't get along well with. Our personalities might clash, we may not see things the same way, or we might have some issue with one another that we can't seem to let go of. Whatever the reason may be, there are simply some people that we would prefer to not have fellowship with and we feel uneasy being around them. Let's be honest; it's true isn't it? We don't always have good feelings about one another. So, how can we deal with it in light of today's Scripture? How can we say we love God and still have problems getting along with some people?
I believe one thing we must do is to differeniate between our feelings and facts. Godly love is far more than how we feel. It involves commitment, a willingness to put others before ourselves, and a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others. It is treating others with respect no matter how we feel at the moment. It is about purposely striving to live at peace with others. It is a determination to move beyond our hurts and issues and accepting others graciously as precious children of God. It is treating one another with dignity and honor. It is striving to be like our Lord in love, not letting our differences keep us out of fellowship with one another.
How do we accomplish living by godly love? There is no shortcut. We must stay in close fellowship with the Lord. We must spend daily time with Him in His Word, prayer and worship. We must always strive to honor Him in how we relate to others. We must always remember that it's about the Lord and not us or how we feel. Is it easy to do? No, but it is doable. Let us be a people of grace, loving one another as we are loved by God.