A Word for All Seasons

Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.

If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer,[a] that person is still living in darkness. 10 Anyone who loves a fellow believer[b] is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.

12 I am writing to you who are God’s children
    because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.[c]
13 I am writing to you who are mature in the faith[d]
    because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I am writing to you who are young in the faith
    because you have won your battle with the evil one.
14 I have written to you who are God’s children
    because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
    because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
    because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
    and you have won your battle with the evil one. – 1 John 2:7-14

20160929-03983

A very old and abandoned bridge in the country outside of Baton Rouge, LA.

I was recently thinking about how easy it is to become self-absorbed. This is especially true as we get older. We become more impatient. We become less tolerant. I think it has to do with getting tired of going the extra mile, being patient with others, and having a built-in resentment toward others who don’t quite get it as clearly and fully as we do (OK, as clearly as I do!). It’s time for things to go my way. It’s time that people start being patient with me!

Warning: Grumpy old man in the house!

Then there are those impatient young men who want their slice of the pie now. Today is almost too late for them. They get a new car because they want one, and yet they don’t have the money, so they borrow the money to get the car. Now. Pay for it later.

Then there are those  women who are mature in the faith, who seem to have a nearly inexhaustible amount of patience and grace toward others…until they don’t. Then the get frustrated, and too often bitter, and too easily provoked.

Sigh: Seems we’ve all got our challenges.

John writes to us all: Old, young, men, women, new to the faith, mature believers. He has a word for each of us, and that word is love. It’s either a reminder of God’s love for us – inexhaustible, unmerited, unconditional, sacrificial, or our calling to love one another – with the same attitude, fueled by God’s love for us.

We must do this. We must love one another. We cannot say we love God and despise our neighbor. We cannot say we follow Jesus and turn our back on even the most vile sinner. We cannot pretend that we don’t know Jesus’ commandment to love one another. For the very nature of God’s love requires that we not horde it to ourselves.

These are good words. Words of grace and truth. For you and for me. They are words for all kinds of people in all kinds of seasons of life.

1 comment
  1. Doug Krengel said:

    Nice article.

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