1 John 4:20-21: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

Medications often come with side effects, which is why my husband always likes to read the fine print. Well, loving God comes with a side effect too: Our hearts get bigger! Embracing the person next to us, treating animals with respect, caring for our environment are some of the the known side effects of loving the Lord.

As our hearts expand, so expands our horizon. We begin to notice things that we previously had not paid attention to before. We develop empathy and start caring.

How we treat people is important to God, and I believe this is the point the apostle John is trying to make in his letter. If don’t love people, we deny ourselves the opportunity to grow closer to God. We will have to face our fears and past hurts to overcome them. God will help us as we address our issues. He has helped me.

The ripple effect of our love journey goes a long way, even though we are not aware of the blessings we leave in our wake. It may not be easy at all, but it is a wonderful life.

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