[Maximum Joy Series] Love Your Brother And Know Your Real Enemies

Day 5 of 8 • This day’s reading


The Correction of the 2nd Error: Hate

Hatred of our brother or sister is a big barrier, a wall of separation and a stumbling block to intimate fellowship with God. This barrier is in us. We must get rid of it as soon as possible, or we will soon face spiritual blindness and bitterness, which keep us from enjoying the forgiving grace of God. 

The Correction: “Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble” (2:10) NIV.

Indirectly, that is what verse ten is telling us. Two things from this verse are true of the believer who loves his brother: 1. He abides in the light, and 2. There is no cause of stumbling (skandalon = barrier or roadblock) in him. If we want to enjoy and live in fellowship with God who is Light, then we need to confess our sins. To confess means to agree, to recognize our wrongdoing. But that is not all. Here, John goes even deeper. He tells us that if we are in the light, we must love this person. 

Please allow me to give you practical steps to tear down the wall: 

  1. Write down the ways the other person has hurt you. 

  2. Write down a few of the main ways you have hurt Christ. 

  3. Thank Christ for His forgiveness. 

  4. Ask Christ to give you a spirit of forgiveness. 

  5. If possible, sit down with the one who hurt you, explain what you have been holding inside, and tell them you would like to forgive them. 

  6. If you cannot sit down with them, forgive them as Christ has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). “In Him” is the key. God forgave you in Him. You can forgive your brother because of your common position in Him

  7. Don’t confuse forgiving with trusting. You can forgive in a moment based on your common position in Christ, but trust must be rebuilt over time. This distinction has tripped up many people. A Christian wife is commanded to forgive her wayward husband (or vice-versa), but she is never commanded to him. He needs to earn her trust. 

Forgiving is not always simple. To do so, most times we must deal with past hurt and pain. Ask for help. Talk to your pastor, talk to your spiritual leader, go to a counselor. Please, do not waste another moment of your life living in darkness. Walk in the light, abide in the light, and enjoy the freedom of forgiveness and ultimate joy.