growth challenge, Loving Like Jesus

Loving Less

The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:9‭-‬11 CSB

God led me to this verse this morning and at first glance I felt absolutely no conviction. That was until he had me dig deeper.

What I defined as hatred is not the same as what God see’s as hatred. I feel like this happens alot in our culture. Our modern day language is dampened down the original meanings of words that Jesus has spoken.

My definition of hated was to hold someone to contempt, in unforgivness, or to harbor bad and bitter feelings against someone.

God’s definition hit me like a ton of bricks and made me realize how much I really need to remain in him at all times.

According to the HELPS Word Studies hating is defined as:

3404 miséō – properly, to detest (on a comparative basis); hence, denounce; to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e. to renounce one choice in favor of another.

I have always known that God does not show favoritism. Which is something that I am tremendously thankful for. His love is not based upon our actions but through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

However, I can remember a number of times where I have favored someone over the other. Family members, friends, co-workers, and even pastors and churches have all been “my favorite”. OUCH!

I did not see this as hate, but through God perfect perspective he see’s it as us loving someone less. I mean really, why does someone get to be our favorite? No one is better than one another.

Oh sweet conviction and correction!

I asked God in that moment to forgive me for not seeing through people through his eyes. I asked him to forgive me for loving people less, having favorites, and ultimately hating who he has created.

He continued to speak to me through prayer and his word.

Telling me I was forgiven and that when I press into his prescence more and more, he will shine through more and more. If we don’t remain in him and his words do not remain in us, we can do nothing. How can we truly love if we aren’t learning from pure love?

Seeing people through anything but a pure heart can cause not only us to stumble but for them too. I do not know about you, but I do not want to cause any of my fellow brother or sisters to stumble.

When we see through hate (loving less or favoritisim), his word says that we become blinded. I personally know this stands true through my own testimony. When we see through lenses of hurt, loving less, or anything other than through the blood of Jesus our perspective shifts.

Today I have asked for forgiveness and he has freely given me his mercy and grace. I do not have to live in condemnation, guilt, or shame. I can live freely knowing that God does not love me any less. I know that he has corrected me so I can become more like him. And really, what good father doesn’t correct his children?

If this has resided with you, I want to pray with you!

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come to you right now asking for forgivness from not loving people how you have called me to. For loving people less and not seeing them through your eyes. I thank you that you are the perfect example of love, you have no favorites, and where I have fallen short your grace is more abundant. Lord I ask that Holy Spirit convict me in times where I love less. I pray that you give me your eyes and heart to see people how you see them. I thank you from bringing me from darkness to light and stripping of what has blinded me.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

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