“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or a sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”- 1 John 4:20 (NIV)
In Chapter 3 (“May Your Name Be Kept Holy: Allow God to Be God”) of The Wall Around Your Heart, Mary DeMuth concentrates on the words “hallowed be Thy name”, noting that when we revere God’s name we elevate Him to extreme heights. Cyprian, a third-century bishop, clarified the reason for hallowing the Father’s name:
” . . . not that we wish for God that He be hallowed by our prayers, but because we seek from the Lord that His name be hallowed in us.”
As Mary points out, these words have everything to do with how we interact with the people in our lives. Following our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, feelings of vengeance or unforgiveness may fester against those directly/indirectly responsible for our loss. When someone wrongs us, we usurp God’s rightful place and take the judge’s seat, as Stephen Mansfield (Healing Your Church Hurt) explains:
“To think we are entitled to love God and hate his people is a sin. And, perhaps as important, it is impossible. Frankly, when we think we are loving Jesus but hating his people, we are actually loving Jesus so little that his people don’t matter any more.”
As we seek from the Lord that His name be hallowed in us and take His healing path, we can reach out to others, even in our pain.
Today’s question; How have you been intentional in eliminating any residual hate toward those responsible for your vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Upon further review”