Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. 1 John 2:9-11
What is love? Love is sacrifice. For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16). Love keeps no record of wrongs. Is kind. Patient. Always protects, trusts hopes and preserves. (1 Corinthians 13).
Love is a gift of the Holy Spirit in a transformed, sanctified Christian life. (Galations 5:22-23, 2 Peter 1:5-8). It’s something that’s hard to do when somebody is getting in the way of my wants.
And here, John says we are to love our brother to show that we are in the light.
Like any good lawyer, I’m embarrassed to say that my gut reaction to this mandate is to look for a loophole and ask, “well, who’s my brother?”
Jesus told a parable about who my brother is. Anyone. Everyone. (Luke 10:25-37.)
And, if I’m honest with myself, it’s hard enough to love my husband and church family that even if the bar weren’t set so high about having this sacrificial real love for everyone, I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. I so need the Holy Spirit to help me.
Is there anyone in your life right now that you wish weren’t a “brother” or “neighbor”? May the Lord fill you with his supernatural love that you may walk in the light and not stumble around in the darkness!