The Lord said that in the last days, the love of many will grow cold because the lawlessness around them will multiply. To some extent, this is already happening. Sometimes we are filled with darkness and hate instead of the love of Christ.
John is telling us, “Love your brothers. Love the people around you.” Today we have a challenge. There are so many other people coming at us, that we end up hating them while trying to love those around us.
Have you ever had this feeling? You see somebody on TV who says something that is completely opposed to what you think, and in your heart, what begins to form is not disagreement, but hate. We can disagree all day long, but when hate begins to come out, that is a whole different ballgame.
If we allow hate in our hearts, when anybody shows an inkling of what caused that hate in the first place, we can begin to have that same aggression and darkness towards them. Our heart begins to get gnawed on and we don’t do what John want us to. He says, “I want you to walk in the light in a way that you can really shine with Jesus. I want you to show the love of God in you.”
The Greek word for “hate” means to spit at one’s heart in disgust. In our society, the media would keep us in a place of outrage, tension and hate. When you keep stoking fires in your heart, if anyone disagrees with you on any kind of issue, the fire of hate comes out to char them. But what Jesus is saying through John is, “I want you to love them.”
If you love people, does that mean you never disagree? No. Of course, you disagree. Does that mean you never fight for what is right? No, we fight for what is right, but we fight right. Do you see the difference? We fight right.
As believers in Christ, we can actually love people we vehemently disagree with and show them the love of God. To do that, we each have to be able to say, “Lord, I want to love with your love even despite complete disagreement. Jesus, You have to do it through me. I want to walk with You and I want You to live life through me.”