Do you really think you can hang onto grudges, cling to bitterness, act hatefully toward someone else when you are filled with the Spirit of God? You cannot love God and hate your brother or sister or neighbor or coworker at the same time. If the God who loved the world enough to send his Son to die for it is in you, he will love the world through you. His Spirit inside you will cause you to love. You cannot contain the love of God within you. It will spill over into loving action.
Listen to what John wrote later in his letter.
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:19-21)
God’s command – the one that Jesus said was the second greatest after loving God – is to love your neighbor as yourself.
Are you obeying that command? Do your actions reflect the way that you would like to be treated? How often are your words less loving than you’d like them to be?
If you are struggling to love others, I urge you to cry out to God for help. Confess your sin to him. Ask him to give you a true sense of his love for you. Allow him to love others through you.