Love Thy Neighbor
The natural result of love for God is genuine love for others. Anything less is hypocrisy. Assurance of salvation is rooted in love for other Christians, made possible through the new birth: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (I John 3:14).
Strong words! But inescapably true.
Love for others cannot be vengeful. To talk of Christian love while seeking to get back at a brother is but empty conversation. Words of brotherly affection accompanied by gossip and backbiting are exposed for what they really are. And the speaker is revealed for what he is!
Only eternity will let us know how much of the blessing of God has been forfeited through holding grudges. But right now the grudge-holder is unmasked and is held up in contrast to the one who loves brethren.
The Bible is a mirror in which we can see ourselves as God sees us. A man reading the Bible is face to face with himself. James wrote: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:22-25).
What kind of reflection do you see in God’s mirror? If the face is one lined with grudges and revenge, put away these hindrances to love.