HATE!

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.”             1 John 2:9 NIV

 

The phrase, “Anyone who claims”, tips us off that John again has the heretics in mind. They claimed to be enlightened, and yet, apparently, they were arrogant and self-centred. They did not love others in a sacrificial way. They were using people to build a following for themselves, rather than building people up to follow Christ. John gets out his black and white paint again, and without mixing them into shades of grey, he shows that these false teachers were not true believers. They do not love; they hate. They are not in the light; they are in the darkness. We should not only use John’s words to identify false teachers; we should also apply them honestly to our own lives. Sadly, there are many that profess to know Christ, but in their marriages and towards their children they do not practice biblical love. John shows that love is inseparable from the light, just as hatred is invariably bound up with darkness. He does not allow for any middle ground where we can be sort of loving, but sort of cantankerous too! Our profession of being in the light is exposed as false if we hate our brother. You may be thinking, “Hate is a strong word! While I may not love that difficult person, I wouldn’t say that I hate him.” But John doesn’t let us go there! We either love the other person, which requires sacrificing ourself for that person’s highest good, as Jesus did for us on the cross, or we hate them.

If we continue in a lifestyle of hate rather than a lifestyle of love, our profession of faith is suspect.

 

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, let the love with which You love me, flow through me to others.

 

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord Jesus, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, thank You for enabling me to love others as I sacrifice myself for that person’s highest good, as You did for me on the cross. AMEN

 

I.B.R.A. Readings

1 Timothy 5:17-25

 

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