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Add Familial Love to Piety

October 23, 2009

Family DinnerAfter adding piety to our faith, familial love is the next thing in the list of Christian character we must be developing. This brotherly kindness is a love like that we have for our own brothers and sisters, or our own parents. This is a love that is not stopped by petty disagreements. This is a love that will weather great storms together. This is a love based on a knowledge that comes from experience together. This love is built on the foundation of these other stages. This is a love that has come from serving together, this is love that has come from resolving conflicts with one another, this is a love that comes from facing trials together, this is a love that comes from growing together. This is a wonderful love that each of us should be developing for our fellow believers. This family love should be constantly growing. We should each have as our goal to love one another as the brothers and sisters that we are. This is not some make believe, pasty love. 1 Peter 1:22 tells us that our love should not be unfeigned. That is, without any acting. The word feigned comes from the same word that is used for the Pharisees and their hypocrisy. Our family love has to be a reality. We can’t imitate this type of love. It is one that has to be true in our lives, or as soon as difficulties come or conflicts arise that love will fall apart and we will be divided. This morning, strive to grow into a family relationship with one another. As we grow as a church, some of your closest friends should be developed here in this congregation. As we struggle together as a church we should be drawing into a single family that comes closer together in hard times, not farther apart. When this love is practiced, it will have some distinct characteristics. In brotherly kindness there is no deception, but honesty and transparency. There is no false dealings, or anything that would wrongfully take from some one else. Instead, there is a generosity that would much rather give more than necessary than take something to someone else’s hurt. This brotherly love also is careful with those who are weaker. Not doing anything that would hint at or cause a injury to others. Instead, brotherly love is very careful to go the extra mile with a weaker brother so that we do nothing to hinder them.

The opposite of this brotherly love is hate. Hate in the Bible is not limited to a raging dislike that refuses to speak to or always speaks evil of someone. Hate in the Bible points to an opposition against someone. We hate someone when we harbor ill will against someone, when we hold onto to hurts done by them, when we refuse to treat them with Christian love. Hatred is the absence of this brotherly kindness. Brotherly kindness is not vengeful, nor is it bitter. Brotherly kindness is kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. How is your relationship with others in your church?

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