A Relationship with God
One of my friends in a social media network made a remark in observation of the many hurtful and upsetting things people say about and towards each other when they are in disagreement. Some people say some pretty terrible things. Some of those people are of different religious affiliations. When I saw that statement, wondering wasn't religion supposed to be about love, I said this:
"I can't speak for other religions. However, I can say this. Christianity is about having a relationship with God, self-control/obedience to God, and love. A lot of people focus on the love part, but without the relationship and self-control, we are reckless and lost. Unfortunately, we have a lot of people who are consumed by their emotions and passions. They say things and act in ways contrary to the God they profess to believe in, because they lack that relationship and lose self-control. As a consequence, they become poor representatives absent of love. To be absent of God is to be absent of love because God is love.
The Bible is a history of cause and effect, and displays examples of the presence and absence of the relationship. Most of the early stories show examples of positive behavior and rewards or negative behavior and the consequences. Most of the positive behavior came from the individuals in the story who had a good relationship with God. Those with a good relationship with God had God in them. They were more obedient to God and loving to people. They healed. They prophesied. They were self-sacrificing. Their reward was a place with God. Those with no relationship with God did not have God in them. They were disobedient and did hateful worldly things, which had negative consequences.
That relationship is key. So, when you see "Christians by title" out there yelling, cursing, condemning, pissing fits, and treating people like trash, it will be quite obvious to you who does not have that relationship, who does not have God in them. If God is in them, love is in them."
I thought I would share that with you, so those non-Christians have a greater understanding of what you're seeing in the world, comment sections, social media networks, and especially in the media.