|Photo by Poojagupta21|
If someone claims, “I love God,” but hates his brother or sister, then he is a liar. Anyone who does not love a brother or sister, whom he has seen, cannot possibly love God, whom he has never seen. He gave us a clear command, that all who love God must also love their brothers and sisters.
1st Letter of John 4.20-21, Voice
Many people prefer to be "spiritual," not "religious," and given religion's reputation there is some justification for that. But there is a true religion. John, Jesus' best friend, says having an inner sense of being spiritual or connected with the infinite isn't quite enough. The authenticity of our relationship with God is tested and proven in the crucible of rugged, real life lived with our fellow humans. God, for all his virtues, is invisible most of the time. Love for an invisible God -- no matter how real inwardly -- can easily delude us, becoming a love for ourselves and an image of God we're comfortable with. Our love for God only becomes visible through our love for the people we meet.
There is a true religion, one that demonstrates its reality. Jesus' little brother once wrote,
Real, true religion from God the Father’s perspective is about caring for the orphans and widows who suffer needlessly and resisting the evil influence of the world.
Letter of James 1.27