Love Drives Out Hate

Jon Burgess


“Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:15-16‬


When I read this before it seemed like a no-brainer. Why is the Apostle John even needing to point this out? Hate and love don't mix. If someone is actively hating another on an ongoing basis it's clear that they are not walking with Jesus. Basic, right? I mean, who could ever claim to be worshipping Christ while spewing hatred towards another? Nothing is ever wasted in scripture. Every word is needed. These words from John are needed now more then ever.


My eyes have been opened. Especially after the events of Charlottesville last week. The horrific scene of White Supremacists spouting scripture while spewing hatred to those who are different reminded me history is replete with examples of people who claim to love God and yet hate others. I saw a picture recently of the American flag with the words: You can't be a Nazi sympathizer and an American. There was a whole war that was fought and won that already decided that! The same is true here! You can't be a Christ follower and a people hater at the same time. There was a war fought and won already on the Cross of Christ that decided that! It's so obvious and yet here we have a whole new generation of people thinking they can love God and hate those who aren't like them. It's up to those of who do follow Christ to make it clear just like the Apostle John that hate and love cannot coexist. It's also up to those of who follow Christ to show it and not just say it. How? By giving up our lives in service to each other we show the love of Jesus. We are called to love even our enemies and not just to ones we like or who like us. So, even though I am revulsed at the idea that someone with my skin color would judge someone lower by their skin color I must ask myself how I'm serving those who are different then me? The idea that anyone would consider themselves superior to another is unconscionable. Yet, every time I raise myself up above another out of insecurity, fear, or competition I am taking one step closer to the hate and one step farther away from the love of Christ. Ultimately I must come in the opposite spirit of the day. It was Martin Luther King Jr who stood in the face of abject hate and racism and said the truth of today's scripture: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out out hate, only love can do that."


Oh Lord, forgive me for only serving those I like or who like me. This is not how you've called me to love. Your love called me while I cursed You and Your love died for me so I could live. This is not some wimpy cushy love You call me to. It's a love that will lay down its life for those who hate me. I don't walk in that love yet. It's clear from the news of the world around me that this is the only kind of love that will conquer the hate. No matter who You put in front of me let me love them by serving them.

Devotions for August 22

Jeremiah 28,29,30
1 John 3

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