Day 9

Loving Our Brothers and Sisters

from the reading plan

1 John 4:20-21, 1 John 5:1-13, Romans 13:8-14, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, John 1:29-34

The news was grim, the sort of thing no parent wants to hear. I had been born cross-eyed with severe astigmatism. Just a few months later, the doctors were confident that my eyes would not improve over time. There was no procedure or surgery available to correct the issues, so they told my parents I would eventually be blind.

My dad was, and still is, a pretty stubborn guy. But in this case, it turned out to be an amazing blessing. He was determined to find a doctor who would give him a different answer. And so, he marched into his boss’s office one morning and announced that he would be leaving every Friday at noon for the foreseeable future. He would use those afternoons to meet with ophthalmologists and eye surgeons, anyone who might give his son a better prognosis. A short time later, my dad did indeed find a doctor who was willing to operate. It was an experimental procedure with no guarantees, frontier medicine at the time. But the surgery was successful, and today I don’t even wear glasses.

At the time, my dad worked for IBM in lower Manhattan. It was, by every measure, a really great job—great medical and dental coverage, full pension, lots of time off. It was a wonderful opportunity with a growing company. It wasn’t the sort of job anyone would just toss aside lightly. But that’s what my dad was willing to do if it came to it. When he met with his boss to tell him his Friday afternoon plans, he wasn’t exactly seeking permission or requesting time off. He was simply saying, “If you care about me, respect me, and appreciate the work I do, then you will also care about my son. He’s my priority. This is not up for negotiation.” In other words, they couldn’t have the father without also loving his children.

This is also God’s posture toward His children—you, me, and the millions of brothers and sisters we have in Christ. That’s why John writes, “The one who loves God must also love his brother and sister” (1John 4:21). You can’t have the Father without also loving His children.

This can be hard for us. Like many kids in large families, we can forget that Dad has other kids He loves with His whole heart. He loves each of us uniquely and perfectly, but He doesn’t love us alone. So, then, how we treat our brothers and sisters is a good measure of how well we are loving God. Let’s love each other well, not because we are always loveable, but because God loves every one of His children. And we ought to love what He loves.

Written by John Greco

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