1 John 2:1-14
Wednesday, 26 July 2022
“But he 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.” -1 John 2:11
Apostle John gives a test by which one can know if they truly know Jesus Christ. John applies this test of obedience specifically to the area of love. If Jesus’ life and especially His death exemplified love, those who claim to follow Him are obliged to live in love.
True Christian living is not knowing about God, certain doctrines and moral precepts. It is essentially knowing God, a God of love. Jesus said in John 17:3, "This is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Christianity at its heart is, knowing God personally through Jesus Christ, who revealed God to us. You may have been raised in the church and you may always have adhered to Christian morality but if you have not sought to develop a personal relationship with Him, you have not known Him.
Apostle John in this passage gets very specific probably because the enemies of the church were characterized by hate, not love. They claimed to be in the light, but their lack of love displayed the darkness in which they lived. When we hate someone or do not forgive those who hurt us, we put up a wall between us and God. We start to walk in darkness because we have not forgiven them. Hate destroys our soul and hardens our hearts. The only way to come into the light is through repentance and seeking God. We need to ask for forgiveness and ask God to help us to learn to love that person/s and pray for them. The thing is, the person/s we hate or do not forgive many times do not even know how we feel. So, we are actually only harming ourselves.
To carry all our hurt and hate pulls us away from God. We are angry and feel that no one understands. Sometimes we blame God for what has happened to us. We cannot forgive the one who inflicted this hurt. Instead of trying to forgive, we just carry this hurt within ourselves. We must pray and ask God to help us to forgive, this can be very hard for us to do, but before God will help us we must forgive first. We must show that we love the sinner, not the sin. If we really mean it, God will answer our prayers; we will walk in the light once again.
Hatred or lack of forgiveness makes us spiritually sightless. Hate blinds us. What is more, an unwillingness to forgive cuts us off from forgiveness for our own sins: "If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15) Many Christians struggle with hatred, aggravated hurt, bearing a grudge that they just cannot seem to get beyond or do not really want to get beyond. Forgiveness is not optional. It is at the very core of the gospel. In practice, this is what it means to love our neighbor!
Take this test today and see if your life has been darkened and blinded by any form of hate and an unforgiving spirit. Acknowledge to God that you have been walking in darkness although all this while you claimed to know Him. Seek forgiveness. Decide to let go of your bitterness and come walk out into the full light of God! May His agape love reign in us!
To Act on: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)