“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” – 1 John 4:20

In a world where hate often appears to be on the rise, we are called to be different as followers of Jesus. The term “haters” has become all too common in our society, as people express their disdain and resentment openly. But we are not called to join this trend; instead, we are called to love others, even when it’s difficult.
1 John 4:20 is a powerful reminder of this truth. It states that if we claim to love God but hate our fellow human beings, we are living in a contradiction. Love and hate cannot coexist within us; we must choose one or the other. This choice should be clear for those who follow Christ.

It’s essential to understand that when we hate, we carry a heavy burden. Hate consumes our thoughts, fills our hearts with negativity, and isolates us from the joy of loving relationships. It places us in a cycle of anger, bitterness, and unhappiness. We end up hurting ourselves as much as the object of our hate.
Jesus calls us to a higher standard, one that goes beyond the prevailing trends of our culture. He instructs us to love our neighbors as ourselves and even to love our enemies. This radical love challenges the norms of our world, but it’s the very love that can break the cycle of hatred and bring healing to our hearts.

Loving others, even when they have wronged us or hold different beliefs, reflects the love of Christ in our lives. It doesn’t mean we condone wrongdoing or compromise our convictions, but it means we extend grace and forgiveness to those who may not deserve it. In doing so, we show the world that we are followers of a God whose love knows no bounds.
Choosing love over hate not only honors God but also brings transformation into our own lives. It allows us to experience the freedom that comes from letting go of the heavy burden of hate and embracing the joy of God’s love.

Be intentional in your choice to love, even in the face of a culture that may encourage hate. Embrace Jesus’ call to be different and to show His love to all we encounter. By doing so, we become Christ-like examples of light in a world that desperately needs love, kindness, and reconciliation.

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