All in the Family

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

J. Vernon McGee once said the only exercise some Christians get is running others down and jumping to conclusions.

It saddens me when I see Christians fighting with each other, and even worse, dividing over theological minutia or style of ministry.

Jesus taught us to pray like this, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,” notice that He used the word ‘our’. In a way this is a family prayer that we offer together with other believers. When you become a Christian, you become part of God’s family. We are part of the ‘body of Christ’. We are brothers and sisters.

In three prayers of confession in the Old Testament: Ezra 9, Nehemiah 9, and Daniel 9, the pronoun ‘we’ is used frequently. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel were not guilty of the sins they were confessing but they included themselves in the prayer. They said, in effect, “Lord, we have sinned against you. We’re all in this together.”

Paul told the Galatians: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” We should not be biting and devouring each other. We should be loving, patient and forgiving one another.

Some people are lovable. There is something we like about a person that is easy to love. But other people are not lovable. They’re cantankerous, irritating or sometimes just odd. But if they are part of the church, then they are our brothers and sisters, too, and we are to love them. If we can’t love unlovable people, then how much do we really know about the love of God?


David Ball