You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.
This is from the book of Leviticus and gets deepened by Jesus in the Gospel. I always find it weird when people say that Jesus in the New Testament is kinder and more loving that the God of the Old Testament. I do not think that is true at all. They are both echoing the same message it just sounds different when they are saying it. The same God of the Old and New calls us to the same honesty, to the same love and to the same discipline. The main difference is that when Jesus does it, He tells us to go deeper. And so people see Jesus and the God of the Old Testament as being but we have to remember this one important fact which everyone seems to forget:
YOU SHOULD NOT BE THE SAME PERSON TODAY WHO IS READING THE GOSPEL AS YOU WERE WHEN YOU WERE READING THE OLD TESTAMENT.
If we put on a some kind of front when reading the Scriptures or in prayer, by pretending to be someone we are not then what is the point? The challenges we encounter in the Scriptures, when read honestly, challenge us to reconcile with our brothers and sisters. So if I read parts of the Old Testament and faced some of the challenges that were presented to me, then I should be different. If I was honest enough...
When being honest about how I treat people there is always room for improvement. Our God loves us enough to want us to grow. He shows us the truth in a very simple way: Love your neighbor as yourself.
His message is very simple and pure. When we hear it though it is like getting a punch to the faith/face because you have to ask yourself, "do I even love my neighbor? Do I even know who my neighbor is? Is this how I love myself? Do I even know who I am?" If our outer world is a reflection of our inner world then there has to be a connection with how we treat others, how we treat ourselves and ultimately how we relate to God. Be grateful we have a God who pulls no punches.