Loving One Another

Written on 03/07/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: 1 John 3:11-12

11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.

This passage is written to show a dramatic and clear distinction between love and hatred. John uses the example of Cain and Abel, a story found all the way back in the very beginning of the Bible, the book of Genesis. The story can be found in Genesis 4. The spark notes version of the story is that Cain's jealousy and hatred towards his brother, Abel, led him to murder him. Abel loved his brother and trusted him, following him out to the field in which he would die. Cain tried to lie and hide his act of hatred the Lord, but was cursed and cast out of the land to wander tirelessly for the rest of his life.

As followers of Christ, He has declared that we are called to love one another just as God has loved us. (John 13:34) The way we conduct ourselves matters. In every interaction we have, we can choose hate or love. Our actions and attitudes towards others should be characterized by an abundance of love, kindness, and compassion. When we choose love over hatred, we reflect the light of God's love in a world filled with darkness.

In this passage, John reminds us that we have the opportunity to be like Cain or Abel, we can cheese to be like Abel, walking in righteousness and love. We are called to avoid the path of Cain, which leads to destruction and hatred. As we submit to loving one another, we testify to the transforming power of God's love in our lives. We shine as beacons of hope in a broken world.

Friend, this is hard. It’s so easy to say “yeah I’m going to choose to be loving.” But what about that guy that cut you off in traffic and made you late? What about that coworker that is ALWAYS passive aggressive. What about that man that veered out of his lane, hit you, and forever changed your life? What about when addiction takes away your loved ones? Life is HARD. It is broken, and dark. It is much more than we can handle. There are so many circumstances surrounding us that feel so justified in choosing hatred because of ____. Don’t mistake this for just letting everything go and living in la la land. There is still righteous anger. There is still mourning and grieving, and wrestling through the hard stuff with God. But, He is the one who provides a peace that surpasses all understanding. He is the one who can take our heavy burdens and make them light. He is the one we can trust to always be righteous and just. He is the one who can transform our hardened, angry, beaten down hearts and allow His love to shine through us.

It is a hard, never ending process that we wake up and choose, every moment of every day. but friend, look up, because you are not in this battle alone. He wants to work in your heart to make us more like Him, each day.

Lord, help me to be still in this moment. Allow me to just sit with these words that you’ve given me today. I know that there have been moments where my heart was hard and filled with hatred, just as Cain’s was. Forgive me for allowing the allure of hatred to suck me in. Holy Spirit, fill me and help me to become more like you each day. Soften my heart to become more loving, shining like Your light unto a dark and broken world. Amen

Guest Author: Becca Artymenko