Hating a Fellow Believer ≠ Loving God

1 John 4:20

Pretty simple concept, isn’t it? You can’t actually love God if you hate a fellow believer. That means the believers from another country, another race, another church.

But they’ve got the baptism thing wrong! They don’t pray in tongues! They don’t look like me! They don’t talk like me! They’re from *that place*! They use hymns! They use contemporary music! They ___________!

Love ’em. You’re not loving God if you hate them.

That’s it, pure and simple.

But what if they actually are acting wrong according to scripture? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the most loving thing we can do for someone is to present truth to them, even if it hurts in the short term. We must do so with compassion, not a bludgeon. We must still love that believer.

We are prone to paint all people in *that* group with a wide brush, believing all the news about them, believing each individual fits the description of the group. If we say we love God, we have to stop that!

I have stayed in a group despite the issues there because God said to stay. My flesh wanted to hightail it out to a place where those issues didn’t exist. God said, “Nope. Stay put. Be my light. Shine like I tell you.” And so, I stayed. That broad brush stroke that paints every individual in the group as wrong and unlovable can wrongly paint the one following Jesus closely.

But God wouldn’t want you to stay where things are all wrong!

Umm. Didn’t He leave Moses with Israel after their anti-God choices? Yes. Yes, He did.

The scripture is very simple and very straightforward: if you hate another believer, you do NOT love God. This is where we must understand that love is not merely a tender feeling, it is a choice. If God, through John told us to love other believers, we can do just that. It is a decision of obedience to God to love those other believers. Jesus said if we love Him, we obey His commandments.

Today is a great day to take stock of our attitude toward other believers and where it’s less than lovely, make some changes. If we look at any followers of Jesus with anything but love, we need to repent and get to work.

Are you ready?

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!