My wife and I have three grown children. Outside of God Himself, one of my greatest delights on earth is the joy of seeing my offspring interact with one another in a positive, loving way. It thrills my heart as a father to observe them caring for each other. It is a delight beyond words for me to witness each one demonstrating genuine love for the others.
Conversely, it breaks my heart to see my children acting harshly or negatively toward one another. Something on the inside of me wants to stop such behavior. Those kinds of actions are totally contrary to my desire for them to love each other.
I didn’t ask to be this way. I didn’t wake up one day and decide that I wanted my children to love one another. Honestly, as I look at Scripture, my inclinations in this regard seems to reflect the Father-heart of God Himself.
In 1 John 3:10, we are referred to as “children of God.” That same verse goes on to describe those who are not of God, and the final negative characteristic is “one who does not love his brother.” If you don’t love your brother in Christ, you’re not of God. Those are strong words.
The same writer, the Apostle John, in his gospel account, explains the “children of God” idea. He says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12). Those who receive Him, who believe in His name — those who are born-again by the Spirit of God — are children of God. And, as children, we are therefore brothers and sisters with each other.
So, how do you think God responds when we don’t act in a loving manner toward our brothers and sisters in Christ? When we speak negative or harsh words to or about one another in the Body of Christ, do you think it breaks the heart of God?