Thursday 1 John 2:7-14
John encourages believers that they should be walking in the same way Jesus walked and then continues his discussion by explaining what a life lived like Jesus looks like.
“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.”
When we think about loving like Jesus most of the time we think of discipline, or self restraint, or sacrifice, but rarely do we think about the way we love each other. We think about the music we listen to, and the money we give, and a whole list of other measurable actions. John didn’t give the church a next step, he gave them a condition of the heart. He directed them away from a checklist and tells them it’s really a heart issue.
“Whoever loves his brother abides in the light”
What John wanted us to think about when we tried to be like Jesus was the way our heart felt for people. When I love my neighbor I don’t want to steal from him. When I love my wife I can’t imagine hurting her. When I love my kids I want to be around them. When our hearts are set on loving people, we stop relying on discipline to be good and start letting love direct us. We will still always need discipline because, as John said, we all have sin we’re going to struggle with. However, my spiritual life should be more than a moral check and balance.
It’s an issue of where is my heart? Imagine if we spent as much time making sure we rooted our bitterness, anger, wrath, and jealousy from our heart as we do keeping our actions and behaviors in check. What if we worked on the unseen issues in our heart instead of the public sins in our deeds? We’d see people who learned to truly love others.
What are you doing to make your heart right?