As First John reminds us, loving people brings us closer to God and loving God brings us into loving relationships with one another: “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their sisters or brothers, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen (1 John 4:20).”
“God is love” is Christianity’s primary insight (1 John 4:8). Yet our faith can’t end there. Yes, God loves us—always has, always will. Yet, there remains the infinitely challenging job of living from there—of making the longest journey we’ll ever make—from our head to our heart and hands. “Faith without works is dead… you will know them (the faithful) by their fruits” (James 2:26, Matthew 7:20).
We start with faith in God’s love (head), then we reach out to people with compassion (heart), then we follow through with measurable results (hands).
George Fox wrote: “The Lord taught me to be faithful in all things, and to act faithfully two ways, viz., inwardly to God and outwardly to man (people)” (George Fox’s Journal, 1)