We love because he first loved us. 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. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. - 1 John 4:19-21
You are confronting my soul in this verse. I cannot separate my vertical relationship with you from my horizontal relationship with people. I cannot say I know you and love you and then avoid loving everyone the way that you do. I cannot segregate people in my heart into the loved and the unloved. I cannot make someone my best friend while making another my reject. I cannot hate or even come close to its gate. Your call for me to love everyone the same is impossible for me to fulfill without you. I need you and your love to fill me, drive me, change me and get back into loving even those who have hurt me. Overwhelm my soul with your love that makes me serve those I have so easily discarded in socially acceptable but hateful ways. Make me love all people the same. Cause me to be a true vessel of your redeeming grace. Maybe it starts with me tearing up the record I have of what they did to me or never bothered to do for me. Oh Jesus, give me the pleasure of forgetful grace that frees me to love these folks again.
Pastor Don Patterson
Love tears up the reasons to discard people and gives everyone an opportunity for a re-start every day.