Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 17, 2018
By Tripp Prince
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 1 John 5:1 (NIV)
I recently heard a deeply moving story on the radio. A young woman from San Francisco was telling the story of her mother who grew up in South Korea during the height of the Korean War. Tragedy struck the mother’s family when her father was detained in North Korea on a business trip and never allowed to cross the border and return home. The young woman went on to tell the story of her pilgrimage to North Korea in search for answers around her grandfather’s disappearance. Now over fifty years since the disappearance, she wasn’t sure if she would find anything at all. However, what she found shocked her. Though her grandfather had passed away years before, he had remarried and fathered several children in North Korea, leaving behind a multigenerational family.
Suddenly, this young Korean American was overcome with love and deep affection for people that just hours before she’d never even known existed. They wept and held one another in a firm embrace, spending the next five hours sharing stories about this man that they loved deeply. Their shared affection for the father and grandfather created an indissoluble union and unshakable family bond of love.
I believe this story gives us a window of understanding into John’s statement that “everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” If we’re honest, it’s often hard to love others, even within the church! In fact, our default posture towards others is often critical, judgmental, and competitive.
We size others up constantly – how they dress, where they went to school, where they work, where they socialize – and then we are critical towards them, usually in an effort to mask our own insecurities and fears. I once heard it said, “We view others as flawed versions of ourselves.” Why? Because if we’re honest, we view ourselves as the primary point of reference for what is good and true.
How then can we move away from this critical spirit of judgment and division and move towards one another? What holds us together when we are so deeply prone to being pulled apart?
According to John, we love one another because of our shared love of the father. If we want to remain close to each other, the solution isn’t to simply try and stay close to each other. If our relationships become purely horizontal, we’re in trouble. This is true of church, true of friendships, and true of dating and marriage relationships.
John tells us, if we love God and draw closer to Christ, we will find ourselves moving closer to each other as a result. When we do this, The Lord will help us to see others as he sees them and turns our default posture to one of kindness and compassion, seeing others as beloved by him and worthy of respect and love.
PrayerFather, deepen my love and affection for you so that I can be free to love your children as you love them. Amen.
ApplicationHave you held unforgiveness or resentment in your heart towards another child of God? How can a deeper love for the Father help to heal this sickness within you?
Related ReadingJohn 15:12; Galatians 5:22; 1 John 4:7
Post/Tweet todayWhen we love God and draw closer to Christ, we will find ourselves moving closer to each other as a result. #WisdomHunters #loveothers
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