One of the qualities of counterfeit “brethren” is that you always sense their relationship/friendship/love they claim for us is tentative. You may not really be able to verbalize it right away, but you feel it. There is always an “if.” If you say the wrong thing…then. If you do something….then. All of this is of course very characteristic of a domestic abuser/sociopath.
But these fakes often creep into the church posing a Christians. I know that over all these years the “if” has always been hanging there like a club. And I wasn’t imagining it because inevitably the “then” on their part kicks in. They hate. They abandon. They revile and slander. Seemingly overnight.
But where there is the real article, there is no “if.” We love one another. We forgive one another. We forbear with one another.
Eph 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (32) Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.