1 John 2:10-11
Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes.
—1 John 2:10–11
1 John 1:5 says:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
With God, there is no darkness. Psalm 139:11–12 says:
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
There is no darkness when you are in Christ.
In 1 John, broken relationships mean we choose the dark. You can claim all you want that you are not in darkness and that you love everyone; but do your actions match up to your words? Are you blind to it? Hatred can so blind us that we cannot see what is in front of our faces.
We cannot see we are acting the opposite of Christ.
Sandwiched between the hate verses (1 John 2:9, 11), we find the key verse (vs. 10). Notice that this loving person says nothing. His actions speak louder that his words. He doesn’t claim to be in the light; he is in the light. John records it this way: this person “abides in the light.” And because he abides in the light, when he walks he does not stumble. He does not stumble into wrong thinking and wrong living. And does not cause others to stumble.
How are you doing with the new/old commandment? Would your neighbors cross you off their brotherly-love list? Would your friends? Your family? How about your church?
John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If love is lost in the church, then what? Without Christian love, the light to the world is eclipsed. Everything turns dark, just when light is needed most. You can say you love the world, the church, and people in general. But, if your actions do not match your words, your love has been covered in darkness.
As magnificent as the eclipse was a couple weeks ago, we should use this as a warning. Do not be casual about the love of Christ.
Questions for reflections and discussion: Do your actions match your words? Have you allowed the darkness of broken relationships to cover up your effectiveness in illuminating the world with Christ’s love? Today, pray that God would use you as light in the dark world. Look for opportunities to think, speak, and act in a way this is helping the movement of Jesus Christ, not hindering.
This week's devotionals were written by Scott Murray, the Young Adults Pastor at Wheaton Bible Church. Married to Katie and father of four, Scott graduated from Phoenix Seminary with a Masters in Biblical Leadership.