Who Don’t You Love?
1 John 2:9-11
Verse 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
Yesterday we were talking about forgiveness and it would do us well to look at relationships but from a slightly different angle.
Remember from our discussion yesterday that forgiveness is a choice. What we need to remember is that it is a choice of love. While it is easier to hold onto the hurt, it is freeing to forgive. Unforgiveness can seem like a basic Christian thing to do but though we willingly accept Christ’s forgiveness of our sins we are not as willing to forgive others, especially those we don’t care for. But how does this affect the Church and its witness?
John knew the real dangers of not loving other believers. He had been with Jesus since the beginning of His ministry and had seen multiple times where Jesus showed love to those He didn’t agree with. This is what led John to say that if you hate a fellow believer you aren’t truly living life in Christ. We don’t like to think about what it means to our witness, and ultimately Christ’s name, when we don’t live in the same loving way that He lived.
Sadly we are too eager to accept a mere “like” for those in our circles that we don’t particularly care for, but John is saying that not only isn’t enough but it isn’t being a Christian. That thought may smart a bit. We may wonder how God could expect us to live as if we love them when there are so many reasons not to. While forgiveness is a choice, albeit one we really need to make, love is not an option. This is where it really starts to step on our toes.
We would rather think about love as a choice. We don’t want to be told that we have to love someone, but we need to remember that Jesus said we are to love God, love our neighbors and love our enemies. That leaves little doubt about what He thought love looked like. The verses before us today are talking about the love we are to have for those in the Church and it is vital to our spiritual lives. We can’t grow spiritually if we are not willing to obey Him in something He was so adamant about. We need to love each other.
Making It Personal
What fellow Christian do you struggle to love? Have you made the choice to love them? How can you show that love today?
Making It Personal Kids
Is it hard to love some people? Why do you find them hard to love? Who do you need to choose to love?
Father, thank You for loving us even when we don’t deserve it. Help us remember that when we love each other, we are showing the world that we belong to You. Help us love. In Jesus’ name, amen.