Hate your brother?

1_john_title1 John 4:7-21New International Version (NIV) God’s Love and Ours 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

1 John 3:11-24New International Version (NIV)

More on Love and Hatred 11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[a] if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

First, let me be perfectly honest here and say that I thank God for His faithfulness, love, grace and mercy.  Because without it, I would be a lost cause.  However, because of the gift of His Son, I have hope eternal.

I would be a liar if I told you that I didn't struggle with pride and lust and anger.  I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn't struggle with Anger and wrath driving every day to and from the city and/or looking at social media and seeing the venom that people put forth on both sides of the aisle.  All this to bring up our walk as a Christ follower.  The Scripture above is very clear on anyone who hates a brother or sister is not only a liar, but a murderer.

Scripture tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  After re-reading these two Scriptures in 1 John, it can be very sobering truth for us to work this out.  It is not only a warning but a stark reality that we have to remove and put to death our old ways.

Soul Searching exercises:

  • Read the book of 1st John
  • Pray to God (ask him to reveal to you things that you have to let go of, people that you have to forgive and even people who you have to ask for forgiveness from).
  • Look at Social Media differently (if it causes you to sin - remove it from your daily life)
  • Pray for those who afflict you
  • Set healthy boundaries around those you know who are always angry
  • Forgive as you have been forgiven.