1 John 2:7-14
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. 12 I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. 14 I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Wow – this is a seemingly obvious passage describing my behaviour when I am following Jesus – loving God and loving people – however – John’s caution is written extremely bluntly.
v.11says: If we hate others, we are living and walking in the dark. We don’t know where we are going, because we can’t see in the dark.
I want to say – I don’t hate others… I love others… but the truth is – John’s appeal to the people he was writing to is evidence that this is an issue for them and if I am honest – is an issue for me. Jesus talked about hate being more than actions – he described it as an attitude in our heart. I may choose to act in a civil fashion – but if I harbour hateful thoughts in my heart – I might as well have acted that way!
This is challenging to me – but I know that the Holy Spirit is always whispering to me about my attitudes – and I can choose to listen and love in the way Jesus demonstrated or I can disregard the Holy Spirit’s leading and walk in the darkness John describes here.
Lord Jesus – make me like you – help me choose and keep choosing your way over mine. May I walk in the daylight of your presence and seek to please you in every part of my life – both seen and unseen, spoken and unspoken.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn