And I love it.
I feel like if I don't get that "slap" ....then I won't learn or grow.
I was doing a devotional out of a book I got this summer, and it gave me a verse (1 John 4:13-15). Read it, continued on. Then I decided to re-read that verse, and then, actually just decided to read all of 1 John 4.
I guess it wasn't really me deciding to read it, but more God telling me I needed too.
The passage, in short, talks about being of the Spirit, what that looks like and loving one another through the spirit. The passage and footnotes covered different aspects of love; loving your neighbor, your enemies, your family, and showing God's love.
Something I've always heard, but have never really grasped until this year... was that Christians are hated a lot. Sometimes by people we don't even know, sometimes by our classmates, and sometimes by people close to us who don't know God. But, something I read that really stuck out to me, and kind of hurt, was that those who claim to know God, but don't acknowledge what His word says -- don't know God, they aren't of His Spirit. John warns that Christians who teach God's word won't win popularity contests in the world. <--- definitely true in my life. But those who do know God, will listen to us and love us. And then I thought of all the people that I let "get" to me, and how many of them aren't Christian....
I don't know about you all, but loving my enemies is probably the hardest thing to do. I can honestly say, that I did love on my enemies (or even, just people I don't get along with some of the time... whether we have a close relationship or not) some, this semester... but not as much as I really could have. Not that I was evil towards them, but... I was kind of selfish and didn't try to reach out to them.
Something else that really stuck out to me, was the last part of the passage that talks about hating a Christian brother or sister. WHOA. I don't know if I could honestly say I really hate anyone, but I think even having hate-feelings towards someone, especially a Christian brother or sister, is close enough.
"...if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?" -- v. 20.