I John 2:9-11 “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”
Have you ever tried to find your way to the kitchen or the bathroom in the middle of the night, without turning on the light, only to stub your toe? It’s a silly thing to do, really. Turning on a light could have prevented the injury altogether. When we harbor feelings of ill-will against another person, it’s kind of like stumbling around in the dark. We usually end up only hurting ourselves.
Jesus taught us that love is more than just feelings of affection. Love is a conscious choice that we make. And though we may not like some people as well as others, we still have a responsibility, as Christians, to treat them with respect, compassion, and yes, even love.
When we allow dislike to grow, to control our actions, it becomes hate. It causes us to be rude, to ignore people, to be mean. And hate is like a cancer, spreading through our souls, blinding us and causing us to stumble around in the dark. Although our hate may affect the other person, it affects us more than anyone else. Jesus called us to a better way of life. He wants us to live in His light, and in His blessing. We can do that by loving other people. Even the unlovable ones.
Dear Father, Please help me to love even the people who are hard to love. Help me to rid myself of bitterness, anger, and hate, and to replace those things with Your light and Your love.
Our visiting priest yesterday said something like this yesterday. He asked us to pray for those whom we have not been charitable to, and, to ask God to change our hearts toward them. We all have someone, perhaps, that we need to forgive … Then he taught us Jesus’ name in sign language. Ah, his homily was absolutely wonderful. Essentially, his message was that even those who seem (to us) that they cannot communicate nor understand anything around them, will recognize Jesus. So, we need to see Jesus in others and act accordingly.
Wonderful reflection, Renae.
Thank you for sharing that, Sarah! What a good point, that everyone will recognize Jesus in us. I’ll have to keep that in my thoughts as I deal with others. 🙂
Blessings to you!
Like cancer. Still just about the most dreaded word in our language. What an apt comparison, Renae. Hate is like cancer.
Lord, heal us!
It is the best comparison I could think of, Jean. It spreads and destroys everything in its path. It’s better to find it and get rid of it at the first sign, than to wait and let it grow.