Father, what a day of emotions yesterday was – up and down and all around! I’m so glad You were along for the ride and continue to help me keep things in perspective. You are bigger than them all and all I have to do is to look up into Your face and know that we’ll get through it together.
1 John 2:9-11 (<<click here)
Lord, “hate” is a very potent word and in the next chapter, John even equates “[hating] another brother or sister”, i.e. a fellow believer, with murder. (1 John 3:15) From a very early age, it was drilled into me to not hate others. We might strongly dislike the actions of someone but we were never to hate them. It may seem like I am splitting hairs but even at my age I still feel that there is a big difference between the two. In Romans 12:9 Paul tells us,
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”
When we “hate a fellow believer” we are “still living and walking in darkness” and hate coupled with darkness is always misleading. If we were to have to navigate someone else’s home in the dark there would be many stubbed toes, banged shins and probably some broken things as well as we stumbled about trying to find our way through the maze of the unknown.
Hate is just as blinding. The emotion skews our view of the circumstances. When we see the person we hate our perception is distorted. But again, as I referred to last week, You stated from the cross in regards to those who had nailed You there, in regards to those who were hurling insults upon You, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Hate is debilitating. When it factors in we hurt ourselves and we hurt others. We are not the only ones stumbling about but we can “cause others to stumble”, too.
Lord, the culture in which we live is a breeding ground for hate. Hate speech is everywhere! Help me to avoid feeling that way when I think of fellow believers who don’t agree with me, especially when we disagree strongly or when they lash out and hurt me. May I be like You. May my love be unconditional. Amen.
Apr 11h, Tues, 5:23 am