GodReflection: Guardrails for Living
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6
The stand with the lemonade made from popular culture always competes with the blood on the table of the Lord.
One story line in Scripture is the challenge of God’s children to live as light within the context of the times and not drink the nectar of cultural acceptance.
Called to befriend with kindness all who cross my walk I must do so with my allegiance firmly tied to the real Jesus without following the serpent off of my assigned path.
The satanic lemonade of John’s time sounded tasty. It allowed one to be ruled by the fallen state of selfishness and misguided desire while tossing a pinch of incense in God’s direction.
After all these centuries Satan’s formula is still marketed with remarkable success.
John reminds me that it is not possible to drink the tainted cultural liquid and be right with God. The truth is because of the blood, how I live and act matters.
So the “apostle who Jesus loved,” who walked the streets and villages with the divine Jesus writes to bring believers back to the Master. He calls upon the church to remember a guardrail set in place by the Messiah.
How can I have confidence my walk is within the light reflected from Jesus? I must love my siblings.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.
Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble (1 John 2: 9-10).
What is it about us that fuels the desire to dislike a Christian sibling and happily point out perceived missteps of others while we always give grace to our own weakness?
At this point the temptation is to go into a rant about the division and the hatred so easily found among all of us who claim to follow Jesus.
As the saying goes, like government dysfunction and global warfare that fix goes beyond my pay scale. So that leaves me to begin with the small group of me, myself, and I where change can begin.
John assumes if I walk in the light of Jesus I will love God’s children.
How then do I love my siblings in the family of God?
To start with, I suspect I have no need to spend my time with DNA testing to determine if they are indeed my siblings. God is big enough to figure that out on His own without my help.
Second, if my aim is to become like Jesus, then rather than bad-mouthing and ill will directed toward my siblings, I might be better off to pay attention to my own growth in love toward God.
It is only when I start to understand the depth of His love for me that correct treatment will flow through my life to the brothers and sisters given me by the Father.
John tells me the guardrail, love my siblings, is a strong directive to keep me on God’s road. Its strength comes from five realities.
- Based upon the name of Jesus my sins are forgiven.
- I know Jesus who is from the beginning.
- Through him I’ve overcome the evil one.
- I know the Father.
- God lives in me.
Wow, those are rather lofty claims that flow from John’s writing quill in chapter two.
I can see how a guardrail built from those materials and painted with love for my siblings would be of such strength that it can keep me on the road pointed toward the Light of the Son.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Love My Siblings.