Saturday, December 29, 2012

Loving in the Light

To live in the light is to love. 

There are a lot of definitions of love in this world and some of what people call love isn’t very healthy. But this passage is clear about it. 

It means to love the way Jesus did. Jesus demonstrated His love for others in a lot of ways. He took time to talk to people that others shunned, like the woman caught in adultery and the Samaritan woman at the well. He healed desperate people like blind men and the woman with the issue of blood. He raised a boy from the dead so he could care for his mother. He cried over the death of his friend Lazarus. In fact, He cried over the entire city of Jerusalem and the people of Israel.

Of course, the most critical way He showed love for everyone, was to die for us. His love was sacrificial.  So to live in the light is to love sacrificially.

But this passage is directed to Christians and tells us that living in the light is loving Christian brothers and sisters. Apparently, Christians can still walk in darkness. Christians who say they live in the light, but hate other Christians.

I can actually measure whether I am living in the light. 

Has someone hurt me badly? Am I unwilling to forgive them? I’m walking in darkness.

Is there someone at church that annoys me? Someone I gossip about? I’m walking in darkness. 

Am I jealous of the attention someone else at church gets? Do I mutter and grumble instead of recognizing their service to our Lord? I’m walking in darkness.

Do I ignore the needs of one of my brothers or sisters because they seem to be always asking for something? Am I too busy to make that phone call? Am I unwilling to give up something I don’t need so I can buy something that someone else needs? I’m walking in darkness.

On the other hand, if I love my brothers and sisters, I’m living in the light.

Jesus is the light of the world. When He saved me, He brought me into His light and showed me the way I should walk. I need to ask Him to shine that light on my relationships with other Christians and dispel any darkness that lingers from my lack of love. 

I want to love my brothers and sisters like Jesus did - sacrificially.

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