<blockquote><em>Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.</em>–1 John 5:1</blockquote>
Think about the people with whom you go to church or perhaps the people in your family. Somewhere among that cast of characters there is somebody who just drives you buggy, right? I can think of a couple such people. One person is simply too blunt, saying whatever comes into her mind regardless of how rude it might be. Another has this issue with doing laundry often enough. A last person simply never shuts up, yammering on as my eyes glaze over.
We also have our favorites, the people we enjoy spending time with. I have a good group whose company I greatly enjoy, people I admire and look forward to seeing. This entry is not about them. It’s about the people in the first paragraph.
It’s so easy to love the paragraph two people, but not so easy to love the ones in paragraph one. In our family, we almost have to make a good show of getting along with everyone, but in church we can get away with less civility. That’s not how it ought to be, however. We are–you and I–brothers and sisters. John makes that clear today. And when you’re a member of the family, even when your brother or sister drives you nuts, you make nice for the sake of the family, for the good name and happiness of mom and dad.
Those annoying folks in paragraph one are my brothers and sisters, born of the same heavenly father as me. If I truly love that father, then I have to love his other children. Once again, John pulls aside the phony Christianity that I might like to cover myself with, exposing me for what I truly am. How about you? If you can’t love your Father’s kids, do you really love your Father?