Read – 1 John 3:11-17
The chief characteristic of a Christ follower is love. Christians love one another.
John is really clear on this point: you cannot claim to be a Christian and hate your fellow believer. And yet there are many Christ followers who do just that. When they gather with the church on Sunday there are people they deliberately avoid. There is unresolved tension between people who have received forgiveness from God but choose to not forgive their brother or sister in Christ. Rather than work through a difficult season in their small group, they avoid the confrontation and abandon the group.
This should not be!
John goes so far as to write that an unloving person is really a murderer at heart who does not have eternal life within them. The Christian who hates a fellow believer is no better than Cain, who murdered his brother Abel!
Jesus demonstrates what love is. He gave up his life for his brothers and sisters. His sacrifice wasn’t a one-time martyrdom. Jesus sacrificed daily as he put the needs of others before his own. That might be the most difficult part of Christ-living for us today, the practical, daily sacrificial living that John says marks one as a believer in Jesus:
If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
Let that soak in today. Let that shape the way you engage with your fellow Christians.