April 8

1 John 3:18-22

“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” vs. 18

From the beginning faith communities have known that there are some who are adept at talking the talk, but who don’t come close to walking the walk. And sadly, these are the ones who are mostly responsible for the widespread opinion that all Christians are hypocrites. Even though they’re a minority among believers, their inability or unwillingness to love in truth and in action has had a huge negative effect. Those who truly want to walk in the way of Christ know that the way they treat others is far more important than how they feel about them. Even when we can’t conjure up feelings of affection or kindness toward others, if we treat them kindly and offer them smiles and hugs, we are showing them Christ’s love–because at its core such love is an action and not a feeling. For most this news comes as a relief because we know from experience in this world that we just don’t like everyone very much. In fact there may even be some people we can barely tolerate! So when we’re told we should love everyone, we question whether we can. But if love is an action we can do it. And it’s in the moments when we do good to those we can’t stand that the light shines in us most brightly. And it’s amazing the effect that our acts of kindness have on such folks–sometimes it even softens their hearts and they become almost likable! 

Thought for the Day: How do I treat people that I don’t like?

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