Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 11, 2020
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
I love the Bible. It’s a never-ending treasure trove of truth. Many of its truths are happy making. These are the kind that make you want to shout “Hallelujah!” and do a little dance.
Then there are others that aren’t so fun, but we still need to hear them because they are life giving. I call these Ouchy Truths. I ran across one of them the other day. It’s in 1 John 3:15.
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
I’ve read this verse before with the knowledge that being characterized by love is a sign that we have passed from death to life and that we belong to Christ . . .but today I saw this scripture differently.
In the past, I thought of 1 John 3:15 like this: To God, hating is like murder. But it’s really not murder because no one actually physically dies.
But yesterday, it struck me that the Scripture doesn’t say the person who is characterized by hate is like a murderer. It says they ARE a murderer.
After I realized this, I recorded my thoughts in my journal like this:
But how can someone be a murderer if there is no physical death involved? If someone doesn’t rob, they aren’t a robber. If someone doesn’t gossip, they aren’t a gossip. Someone is only a murderer if they murder.
But this passage doesn’t say someone is like a murderer when they are characterized by hate. It says they ARE a murderer, and that is an entirely different thing. But how can this be?
The popular answer to this question is that if I hate someone, I am no different from a murderer in my attitude toward them—and that is true.
But what if there is more to this verse? What if murder can be inflicted—not only on physical bodies—but also on souls?
What if what guns and knives can do to a physical body, hatred can do to a soul?
What if hatred can kill someone’s spirit, that immaterial part of them that God treasures? Is it possible to mangle someone’s soul (their mind, will, and emotions) with hatred? Is it possible to wound their heart? Is it possible, if someone is mean enough, or abusive enough, that they can emotionally kill someone, so much so, that they feel wounded beyond repair?
I think so.
God says hatred is murder, but perhaps not only in the way that we think.
We truly are our brother’s keeper, not just physically, but emotionally too. And when we love, we show that we belong to Jesus. What an amazing thought!
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death” (1 John 3:14).
Lord, please help me to care not only for the physical needs of others, but also for their souls. Amen.
Let the words you speak today heal and bless those around you.
Hatred can only be handled by generous love that can heal a heart. #WisdomHunters #love #truth #Jesus
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