Parents will tell you. Just ask them.
How does it feel when your children get along with one another? How does it feel when they scream and fight?
There’s no tension for a parents like that of their children fighting. And there’s no peace like a home where the kids get along. And, oh my, if children go out of their way to help one another, or sacrifice something precious to them, parents find heaven on Earth.
So it is with God. When his children get along, care for one another, and make sacrifices, it pleases him deeply. When they fight, it pierces his heart.
So when Jesus identifies the most important commandment in Matthew 22, he draws a firm line to the second: “And the second is like it . . .”
The scriptures tell us that man (and woman) was fashioned in God’s image. There is something inherently God in each of us. Therefore, we are his children, and our neighbors are his children, and he wants love exhibited in each relationship.
Unkindness troubles him.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.” (James 3:9)
So when we belittle men, or curse them, we insult God himself. Love flows from the Father, and the overflow of that love should reach those around us.
When he was 8 years old, our son Jeremy made a decision. He decided that his younger brother, Ben, wanted to go to a Nebraska football game more than he did. Don’t get me wrong: Jeremy yearned to attend the game, as did any normal kid in the Cornhusker state. So he decided to give his single ticket to Ben. When Jeremy told me what he wanted to do, everything inside me wanted to talk some sensibility into him.
Then I realized the power of the gift.
I told him it was his decision. He trotted downstairs and told his brother. I could hear the shriek when Ben was told. He streaked upstairs to tell me the news. His eyes beamed with excitement, as did mine: but for different reasons. My son sacrificed a precious gift of his own for his brother.
He had loved his brother, and in doing so, he had loved me.
How do you feel when you see people are insulted? Complimented?
If man is made in God's image, how does this change our view of him or her?
How does loving man depend on our love for God?
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