Dear children, let’s not merely say we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:18-20
Our actions reveal our true feelings and reflect whether or not we possess a deep-rooted love for God by how we treat others. The tests and trials that we pray for deliverance from will always be up close and personal. We must experience situations that allow for complete exposure of our true character as seen by God. God’s definition of love does not include, “if your brother or sister in Christ always does or says things according to your standards, then you love them, as I love you.”
Many times, we do not realize why we are experiencing certain hardships. Is it possible that our standards for loving others are misaligned with God’s defining attributes of love? It is an absolute of life that people will never say the right thing or act appropriately, especially when necessary. And that weakness remains a catalyst for imposing our definition of loving others based on self-created conditions. It is the small mistakes committed by our sinful natures that Satan uses to drive a wedge between the family of God’s believers.
Yes, most unbelieving individuals cannot help us grow spiritually and God allows them to drop entirely out of our lives. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 2 Corinthians 6:17. However, we are speaking of the family of God, the believers who require our love and support, that we mistreat by holding the grudges of unforgiveness, or we decide that we will cease communication or contact because we are exercising our power of choice.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 1 Peter 4:8-10.
We must extend love and forbearance for one another, or we make a choice to willfully disobey God by deciding which of His commands we will honor. Making the decision to serve God with all of our hearts allows us to freely extend mercy, compassion, and, most importantly, forgiveness.
Are you really growing in God’s grace? Spiritual maturity allows us to let go of all of the petty infractions in this life. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18.
No love for others, No God, and No Peace!
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020