God’s people are to love one another

A woman seeking counsel from Dr. George W. Crane, the psychologist, confided that she hated her husband, and intended to divorce him. “I want to hurt him all I can,” she declared firmly.“Well, in that case,” said Dr. Crane, “I advise you to start sho … More

Love

Up to this point John has been talking about “the commandments” in general; but now he focuses on one single commandment and that is that God’s people love one another (vv. 7-8). Although the Old Testament Law required love for one another (Leviticus 19:18), Christ gave an entirely new picture on what true love really meant. He illustrated love by the very life that he lived. He never showed hatred or malice toward anyone but had a love for all kinds of people, even His enemies. Christian love is not a shallow sentimental emotion that Christians try to “work up” so they can get along with each other. It is a matter of will (making up your mind that you will allow God’s love to reach others through you) rather than an emotion (attraction and affection for certain persons). When a Christian says that he loves the brethren, while he actually hates another believer he is a liar (v. 9).

What happens to a believer who does not love the brethren? It brings the following tragic results:

  1. This person lives in darkness, though he probably thinks he is living in the light (v. 9).
  2. This person becomes a cause of stumbling (v. 10).
  3. This person is stunted in his spiritual growth (v. 11).

Hatred makes a man miserable, but love always brings him joy. Genuine love never keeps records. I need to make sure that I genuinely love other believers and not just say that I do.

Application

Perhaps the best thing I can do right now is to search my heart to see if I hold anything against a brother. If I do, I need to get in touch with them and ask for forgiveness and make things right.

I John 2:7-11 (English Standard Version)


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