Monday, December 14, 2009

Problems with Neighbor breed Problems with God

Let me ask you a question: are there people in your life that you are less than cordial with? Let me ask a better question: are there brothers and sisters in Christ that you would say that you don't like very much? I ask the question rhetorically because I already know what the answer is: YES!!! I know there are people that get on your nerves. I know there are people who's personality gets under your skin. As a pastor I witness this reality between people, but I also fall victim to it as well.

If the Word of God, and not our emotions, opinions, and broken assessments, are to lead and guide us, then we need to take caution to what it says. When our lives don't align to its commands we should repent, meaning, turn from. We must ask the Spirit of God to stir our hearts toward change and we must go to our brothers and sisters in which we are not in right standing and reconcile. Take a look at what the Bible says about this subject:

1 John 2:9 (NIV) Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.

1 John 2:11 (NIV) But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

1 John 3:15 (NIV) Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

1 John 4:20 (NIV) If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

These are but a few verses that are contained in one book about this subject. These words are convicting. If you say you love God, but you have problems with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, then the love of God is not in you. No eternal life in he who hates his brother. So at the end of the day, God doesn't care about your excuses or reasons for why you don't like somebody. How do you combat this type of thinking?

Be reminded regularly that while you were still a sinner and enemy of God, Christ died for you (Romans 5:8). If God could love you, in all your sin, in all your rebelliousness, in all your wicked ways, how is it that you, who has been forgiven, cannot seem to find love for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. In God's eyes this is unacceptable. Take time today to reflect on what people in your life you have had a hard time loving and repent today. If necessary, talk to this person and reconcile with them. Make a vow to God to love them with the same measure of love in which you were given through His Son.

Why do you think this is such a problem in our churches and lives?


  1. Wow. God has really been speaking to me in repetition lately (for several different subjects). I was listening to a Francis Chan podcast a few days ago and he was talking about this same thing. Frank and I were talking on Saturday and this topic came up and here I am to catch up on your latest blog and find this same subject.
    I believe it comes down to us being disobedient and selfish people. We judge others based on how we think they should behave and when it's not in accord to our standards, we push them away.

  2. I agree Nate. What happens is we like people based on our view/perspective of them, but we are called to love people, which stems from God's view/perspective of them.