Daily Devotion, 11/29/2018, “Light to Love”
1 John 2:9-10 The Voice
Anyone who says, “I live in the light,” but hates his brother or sister is still living in the shadows. Anyone who loves his brother or sister lives in the light and will not trip because his conscience is clear.
I once heard another pastor say that being a pastor would be easy if it weren’t for the people. He was kind of joking but the reality is that people can be difficult…difficult people can be especially difficult! Your life would be much more enjoyable if every person in your circle and in your world was loving and easy to love. If everyone you encountered brought you love and light, it would be no challenge at all to share love and light with them. You’ll have that someday in heaven, but not this day. On this side of heaven’s door you’ll do life with fallen people. Some of them will wound you, disappoint you and even hate you. Their fallenness will inevitably fall on you. What do you do with that?
The true measure of your maturity in Christ is not your knowledge of the Word, your level of participation in your church family or your service to those in need. All of that is important but the true measure of your maturity in Christ is in how you handle those who do not handle you well. “Hate” is a strong word that is misused often in our culture. These days, if you disagree with anyone for any reason, you are called a hater. You can love someone very well even if you disagree with their religion, lifestyle, choices, and so on. Jesus did that all the time. This verse isn’t talking about that kind of hate. The use of the word hate in that context is designed to make all of us tolerant of all things regardless of how destructive and ungodly those things might be. That being said, there is a genuine hatred that you can hold in your heart towards those who wound and wrong you. The amount of the light of Christ that you reflect is inversely proportional to the amount of darkness you feel towards other people.
Don’t get tripped up and don’t allow the light of Christ to be dimmed in you with any level of bitterness or hatred. May you keep your conscience clear by forgiving freely and loving always.
You are loved!