Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jesus' Message: Love and Light Belong Together (1 John 2:9-11)

If anyone claims, ‘I am living in the light,’ but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness
(1 John 2:9-11,

Here Apostle John makes one point very clear: we either love or hate other people. Indifference is impossible. We are to love those who live near us – those we see in our neighbourhoods, at school or college, at work, or wherever – and not just those who are far away. Our attitude towards others should not be one of superiority (I’m better than you), or seeing others as a nuisance (If it weren’t for you, my life would be much simpler). We are to make the needs of other people our needs; their concerns, our concerns (But at the same time don’t be too obsess with the concerns).

So this is it: love and light belong together as do darkness and hatred. We must show the genuineness of our faith by having the right relationship with God and people. We can’t hold a grudge against God and keep growing as a believer. The same is true with other people – if we have an unforgiving attitude toward others, we harm ourselves most. Why is that? Because our bitterness and unhappiness spreads like a cancer until the only feelings we seem to have are those of anger and revenge (If you hurt someone, ask for forgiveness. If the other person won’t forgive you, at least pour out your bitterness to the Lord in prayer. Never keep it to yourself).

There is an obvious difference between merely saying and actually doing. We may talk a good line (or update a Facebook status) about being a loving Christians, but it’s the doing – the practical part – that is the true test of our faith in God (see John 13:14; Romans 14:13; Galatians 6:2). Love helps us make progress in this life but hatred stops growth. Love makes us balanced in our thoughts and actions, it helps others and “does not cause others to stumble.” Hatred, on the other hand, fogging our vision and is blinding. Hatred will cause us to disliking someone, wishing evil on them and even being glad when it happens. Hatred causes people to stereotype other people (put people in boxes) because of their race, religion, or sex. We can see how distorted such an attitude really is and how much we need – the love of Christ – to help us have the best kind of attitude towards others. “Anyone who loves… is living in the light.” Amen.


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