Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 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 has blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:8-10 ESV
The New Commandment
In these verses, John writes about the importance of love for one another among Christians. He calls it a “new commandment,” but it is actually an echo of the Old Testament commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (Leviticus 19:18). However, John’s understanding of love is much deeper than the Old Testament commandment. He writes that love is not just an emotion, but an action. It is choosing to put the needs of others before our own. It is forgiving when we are wronged. It is being patient and kind.
Love and the Light
John also says that love is a sign of being in the light. The darkness is a symbol of sin and evil, while the light is a symbol of God’s goodness and love. So, when we love one another, we are showing that we are living in the light of God’s love.
Love and Hatred
Finally, John says that those who hate their brothers and sisters are walking in darkness. This does not mean that they are literally blind, but that they are spiritually blind. They have lost sight of God’s love and goodness, and they are therefore capable of great evil.
A Challenge to Love
This passage challenges us to examine our own hearts and ask ourselves if we are truly loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are not, then we need to repent and ask God to help us to love more deeply. Love is not always easy, but it is essential for those who want to follow Jesus.
How Can We Love More Deeply?
Here are some ways to put love into action in our lives:
- Pray for those you struggle to love. Ask God to help you see them through His eyes and to love them as He loves them.
- Be kind to everyone you meet, even those who are different from you. A simple act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life.
- Forgive those who have wronged you. Holding on to bitterness and anger will only hurt you in the long run.
- Be patient and understanding with others. We all make mistakes. Don’t be quick to judge.
- Help those in need. There are many people in our world who are struggling. Do what you can to help them.
When we love others, we are showing the world the love of God. We are also making the world a better place.
Dear Lord, help me to love my brothers and sisters in Christ more deeply. Give me the courage to forgive those who have wronged me and to be kind to everyone I meet. Help me to see others through Your eyes and to love them as You love them. In Jesus’ name, amen.