Just finished my real talk time (i.e. my devotions if I were to define it old school).
What was hightlighted today, as I read in 1 John 1-2, cut me to the quick.
The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.
Who is my brother/sister/cousin?
Its the co-worker who gets on your nerves. Its the spouse whose way out in left field. Its the son/daughter/best friend who just came out of the closet. Its the baker who didn’t make you a cake for your wedding. Its the ex, whose very name you hate with a passion. Its the person who may not share the same values/beliefs as you do, whether political or spiritual. Its the person at your church who may not like you…
If mentioning a church hater surprises you, which these days it may no longer be much of a surprise, then it might help to know that the apostle John wrote this book right in the middle of church hypocrisy. Gnosticism was emerging (the belief that Christ wasn’t really human), and many people were falling into the idea of it with the added notions that they were the truly enlightened ones to know this about Christ despite never having seen, touched, or walked Him like John had. Many in this new sect also believed that they had no sin to begin with…and that’s a whole can a worms in itself.
But John’s response is full of Grace and love, even towards them, which is expressed throughout the book.
How much more then am I to show Grace and love to anyone?
Please do not assume that all love is equal. There is false love, as John mentions. There is also the misunderstanding that real love is absent of a guideline, a moral compass. Unfortunately I would have to make the comparison to the free love movement of the 70s. Love is more than sex and parties…that’s self indulgence…and yet again another can of worms.
With everything going on in my life, carried over from the last 2 years, I could choose to believe my emotions. I could justify myself a hundred times, believing I have the right to hold into bitterness, have an attitude change at the slightest mention of my irritant…
As I have been learning for some time now, feelings often lack real wisdom. That’s not to say in a dangerous situation I should disregard my feeling to act and save a life, including my own. Feelings do serve a purpose. But when my feelings of leftover hatred run smack into the Word, at that point I must choose the later. If I profess that the Lord is sovereign, and has all wisdom and righteousness, am I greater than my Maker?
The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in Him.
But the one who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.