There are many people who claim to have found God, who are "saved", redeemed or who have been baptized. There are those who have confessed their sins and received their penance. Many have prayed for forgiveness and found peace. But how many people have been changed at depth by their religion and who truly practice its teachings? How many Christians follow the teachings of Jesus?
There are professed Christians who kneel in prayer on Sunday at church and then cheat on their husband or wife. There are "born again" Christians who spread messages of hatred and intolerance. There is much hypocrisy on the part of followers of all religions.
Is it because we are incapable of staying true to these ideals? I don't think so. Jesus showed us that it is possible. Jesus even boiled the Ten Commandments down into just one; the most important one of all, he said, was to love others and to love ourselves. Simple, straight-forward and with no "but" on the end.
And yet, it is probably the hardest commandment of all to follow. We can find many excuses not to love some of the people that show up in our lives. There are those people we feel have wronged us personally in some way or who commit horrible acts in the world. It is easy to say that they do not deserve love. But can we be like Jesus and choose to see that which is within them that is holy, sacred and divine? Jesus could see the soul of each person and regardless of the life they had led, know that they were capable of something greater. If we could only look at someone and see the "Christ" within, to see beyond what they have done to who they are at the depths of their soul--then that is love.
Today, if you encounter someone that you find it difficult to love, be willing to see the spark of the divine that dwells within that person. They may not know that it is there but by you acknowledging it, maybe someday they will too.
And don't forget to see that same goodness within yourself. For some people, it is harder to see that "Christ" spirit within themselves than it is to see it in others. How do you see it? Stand before a mirror for five minutes and look into your own eyes. There will be a soul looking back at you that you may not recognize. It is the real you--a holy child of the Universe.