1 John 3:11–15 (ESV)
Love One Another
11 For this is the
message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.
13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer
has eternal life abiding in him.
I found the reading from yesterday troublesome, but todays is right the opposite and I find myself falling short again. John writes that “we should love
one another.” Do you love one another? I know I try to, but it is not always so easy. Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, but he also says to love our enemies. It is not easy to love someone who doesn’t love or even
like you. There are some very obnoxious people out there that go out of their way to slander, hurt, destroy, ridicule and make you look like an idiot. I don’t mind looking like an idiot, I do that a lot on purpose, just to get a laugh.
I do it out of fun, but it’s different when someone is doing it out of hate. This changes things. I remember when I was probably around 8 or 9 years old, I had to learn a hard lesson. The life lesson
was that not everyone is going to like you. Well... I had been raised to love everyone, so why wouldn’t they love me? At 8-9 years old, this really disturbed me, but I came to understand and accept that I’m not going to be on everyone’s
party list, but my picture might be taped to the donkey poster (Pin the tail...). It was a tough reality, but sooner or later, we all have to deal with this unless you still think the world likes you. America had to wake up to this reality on 9/11.
Why did they do this to us? The Bible tells us that people will hate you because you are a Christian. This is another tough reality. John echoes this when he writes: “13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.”
How are we to reach out and share the Gospel to people who hate us? I think the first thing is to accept that people will hate us because we are Christians. The better we can understand this, the less we take it personal and not offended by their
opinion. This is a big step to reaching out and loving them regardless of their opinions. If you want to see true love, look at Jesus dying on the cross for all those who hated him, beat him, spit on him, and ridiculed them. Jesus simply
said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He loves you too, and died for you! It’s great to be loved! I pray: Lord, help me to love all people, even those who hate me. Help me to
have the love of Jesus in the midst of trials. Lord, help me to reach out and share the Gospel to all people. Amen.