If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20.
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Noting hypocrisy, this is the first information given on Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary – “Essential Meaning of hypocrite – disapproving : a person who claims or pretends to have certain beliefs about what is right but who behaves in a way that disagrees with those beliefs.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrite
Hypocrites get the privilege of being on the lowest level of personal appreciation. This does not mean they have a low position in society, for Hypocrites are found in all levels of society. They can be rich, poor, intelligent, not so smart, good looking or not so dapper. They can be in the news or live next door to you.
What is so wrong with being a hypocrite?
We hunger for truth and reality. We want people to “say what they be, and be what they say”. The origins of the word date back to Greek actors who are pretending to be someone else on stage. The negative connotation comes with the French adding sinfulness to pretending religious behavior.
Jesus gives his strongest rebukes to the religious leaders of his day who put heavy expectations for righteous living upon others, but failed to follow their own rules. You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5
The Apostle John lands this plane of hypocrisy in our own backyard. As followers of Jesus we claim that we love God and love others. The Apostle would ask each of us point blank, “then why is there so much hatred and division among you?” Not loving our brother who we can see is hypocrisy on full display for the follower of Jesus. We see a lot of brother hating occurring on social media. Division puts a spotlight on the lack of loving our brother.
Somehow we justify and qualify why our speck deserves to be present. We have been hurt by another person, We have been mistreated. We have been betrayed. We have been lied too. We have suffered abuse by this person. We point to our suffering and say “God this is the reason, I am hurting. This is the reason You need to let me off the hook from loving my brother or sister.”
We elevate their misconduct as more grievous than our own. “Surely, it is my right to expose to everyone how bad this person is.” And this is love? Really?
Love and forgiveness are part of the same coin. We forgive those we love. Withholding forgiveness reveals our true lack of love.
Loving and forgiving are not equal with condoning the actions of another. Forgiving releases the relationship debt which binds you together. Loving is the openness of a heart to bless another person.
To fulfill 1 John 4:20 we start by loving those closest to us. We don’t like hypocrites and we don’t want to be one. If we say God wants us to love others, then those closest to us are included in the “showing love to them category.”
May God bless you today with purity and integrity. May your walk be equal to your talk. May your boundaries of love be expanded to those who you think are unlovable in your sphere of influence. May God’s love be downloaded and imprinted in your spiritual DNA.
We love because He first loved us when there was nothing lovable about us.
Blessings Love y’all