Bible Reading: 1 John 3:14-19
If the absence of love in action toward a needy brother is proof of the absence of Christ’s love within our heart, how much more certain is it that our heart is void of the “the love of God” if we “hate” our “brother”? How can a Christian “hate” and want to destroy (“murder”) his “brother”―someone Christ loved so much that He died to save on the cross of Calvary? Truly, such a proposition is preposterous!
According to the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit has deposited the love of Christ in the hearts of all Christians (Romans 5:5). As a result, Christians lose their capacity to hate. As a Christian, I find myself incapable of hating anyone. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone is welcome at my house for supper. There are people I don’t care to associate with. There are people I don’t like, but there is no one that I don’t love. There is no one in the world today that I don’t want to be saved by Christ and seen by me in Heaven.
As a Christian, I’ve discovered that I can’t even hate people who hate me so much that it appears they’ve devoted themselves to my destruction. Rather than hating them, I find myself pitying them and praying for them. I can’t help but feel sorry for them, since the task they’ve devoted themselves to is certainly not worthwhile. I’m certainly not important enough to deserve such time and attention. Instead of wasting their time trying to put me down, they ought to spend their time trying to lift Jesus up. This, not the former, would be a worthwhile task to devote oneself to, a task well deserving of one’s time and attention.
Hatred, even more than heartlessness, proves the absence of the love of Christ in a human heart. How can anyone with “the love of God” in their heart hate their “brother,” someone Jesus loves so much that He died to save on the cross of Calvary? Although haters of other professed Christians may profess to be Christians, there is no possibility that the Holy Spirit has ever deposited the love of Christ in their hateful heart.