Daily Devotional May 19, 2023

“If we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister, we are liars…”. (I John 4:20, TNIV)

     I once heard the story about a woman named Regina King. Regina is from the African country of Rwanda. Regina’s son was tragically killed during the genocide that took place in the mid-1990’s. Regina admits to having nursed bitterness and thoughts of vengeance toward her son’s killer. But, one night she had a dream she was walking down a street and saw a house. She knew it was the house of her enemy. She heard God say, “Go into the house.” “But Lord,” Regina replied,

“I don’t want to go.” But she went in anyway. Then, God led her up the stairs. Again, Regina said, “But Lord, I don’t want to go.” But she went up the stairs anyway. When she reached the top, God said, “Open the door.” This time, Regina didn’t make a fuss. So, she reached for the door. As she opened it, she saw that it led to Heaven.

     The revelation that came to Regina is also a word for you and me. For many of us, the pathway to Heaven goes through the house of our enemy. The Bible says, “If we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister, we are liars…” (I John 4:20, TNIV). The reason is because love and hate are so opposed to one another that they cannot occupy the same space. We can’t love God and hate our brother or sister at the same time. One of the two must go.

     Personally, I would rather focus on what God, through Christ, has done for me instead of the harm someone else has inflicted upon me. God has been more merciful to me than I deserve. For this gift of unmerited grace, I am grateful.

     Likewise, I’ve discovered that the virtue of gratitude is a much better life companion than the vices of anger or resentment. The way I figure it, I owe a whole lot more to Jesus than any one person could ever owe me. Besides, I don’t need anything more obstructing my access to the
doorway of God’s heart.