You can't love God and hate someone

A lady was regarded a very good Christian by everybody in the local Church as she was regular to church with her husband. “What a wonderful wife,” people would remark.

On a pilgrimage one day, this couple stopped at a wishing valley. Tourists had to toss a coin into the valley and make a wish. The wife tossed a coin and made a wish.

The husband leaning over the fencing to toss his coin, suddenly slipped and fell into the valley. The wife screamed with joy “At last, God has heard my wish!”

Another regular church-goer suddenly came rushing home telling his wife, “I won a lottery, I won a lottery. Pack your bags quickly.”

The wife asked, “Where are we going? Should I pack winter or summer clothes?” He said, “You better pack all your clothes and leave the house now. I won a lottery.”

Of what good are all our acts of worship, if we carry hatred and grudge in our heart and cannot love one another as God loves us?

Jesus summarised the 613 Jewish laws and their interpretations in just one sentence: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and love your neighbour as yourself” (Mathew 22:34-40).

In the first letter of John, we read, “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” (I John 4:20).

Jesus criticised some of the religious leaders of his time for emphasising so much on rituals and acts of worship as love of God, without stressing on love towards one another.

He even criticised them for laying heavy burdens and penalties of the law upon people, instead of promoting love and compassion, forgiveness and peace.

You cannot claim to love God and hate someone. Worship is complete only when our love of God translates into love towards one another.

It is possible that at times, we feel uneasy or guilty when we do not worship. But do we feel the same guilt when we do not forgive or love someone?

Do we feel the same way when we hate or hurt someone by our thoughts, words or actions? God ridicules those who worship Him with no love or justice towards others in their hearts.

“Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters. And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream(Amos 5:22-24).

Is your worship love-centered or law-centered?

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