Serious Love

picture people getting along14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters,[d] it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister[e] is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. 1 John 3:14-15

I was reading 1 John today and as I read it I noticed how many times John stressed to his readers to love one another. Somebody told me once that the letters were written because churches were struggling with problems. So I suppose that John wrote that because some people in the church were struggling to love each other, and in fact some hated each other!

Now why did that happen? Brother Yun, author of the Heavenly Man said that in China non believers hurt Christians but in the United States Christians hurt Christians. The closer we get to one another, the greater the chance of hurting each other.

We all say and do things without thinking sometimes. Our words or actions can wound. That’s why forgiveness is so critical. So that even if we are hurt by another Christian we can avoid becoming  “hateful” and continue to love each other – yes, even if the person never apologizes to us. Notice that John says that anyone who hates another brother or sister is a murderer at heart! That is serious! 

There was a woman at my church many years ago who went out of her way to wound me several times. I had a real struggle to keep on loving her. So every time she came to mind, I prayed for her and I was cordial to her when I saw her. I think I was so hurt because the attack was so unexpected, and it came from someone who I expected to be kind to me. I struggled with that hurt for several years. Looking back, I should have gone one on one with her to see if we could make peace.  Still, praying for her and continuing to show love eventually healed our relationship.

The closer we get to each other the more likely we are to wound each other.  I used to joke that I loved all the Chinese Christians – because I did not know any of them. But it can be hard to love the people in the pew next to us.

The bible says that if we have aught against each other to go one on one – not to give a “piece of our minds” but in gentleness to talk it out. Just the two of you.

15 If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed . Matthew 18:15-17.

And don’t forget to  pray blessings for them.

Let’s get serious about loving each other.

Jesus is Lord!