This week as I’ve read from 1 John through the #SheReadsTruth reading plan, I am yet again reflecting on what it means to truly love. Mostly the way I understand true love is in the way I love my children. It is not always a selfless love, but it is a love that seeks their good, that desperately wants them to do right, that never gives up, that forgives, that teaches and admonishes them, that sacrifices for their needs but doesn’t indulge them. So when I think about my brothers and sisters, I try to think of loving them the way I would love my kids. It is a love that requires relationship and trust. It is a love that requires proximity and investment. It is a love that requires consideration and care. It is also a love that requires righteousness.
Love is filled with goodness and rightness with God. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” He is faithful and just to lead us into righteousness–and we will have fellowship with one another. We will be purified from [our] dead works to serve the living God.
As I strive to love my husband and my children and my church family well, I often forget that a love that honors God in deed and in truth, asks me to honor God first in my heart. I cannot expect to open my hand to my needy brother if there is greed in my heart. I cannot expect to mourn with the grieving mother if I have judgement in my heart. I cannot expect to reconcile with my church if I have bitterness in my heart. Let us be cleansed from all sin as we walk in light and in truth. Let us not be overcome by the darkness, as it is already defeated. Let us love with our actions and be sincere in them. There’s no need to fake it til we make it–we need only let God’s truth wash over us and ask for the strength to confess the hurt, the unforgiveness, the anger, the distrust in our hearts and be made new. He is able to do more than we can imagine.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do,whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
What are you learning this week from your time in 1 John? Are you enjoying the reading plan? We would love to hear from you as we read through these letters together!