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1 John 2:9: Whoever Hates his Brother

1 John 2:9
[9] Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. (ESV)

I always find it interesting when people suggest that America is a Christian nation.  Don't get me wrong.  I am very thankful for the foundation of this country.  Biblical principles can be seen influencing the founding fathers and the writing of the Declaration of Independence and also our Constitution.  But, here we are in 1 John and are confronted with a harsh reality.  You are not Christian if you hate your brother!  Sadly, our nation displays a lot of hatred.

It seems that we have bought into the lie that it is ok to hate certain people.  If people have hurt us, we have a right to hate them.  And there are lists of people that have committed such heinous crimes that we absolutely have a right to hate them.  Murderers, child molesters, communist dictators, and anyone who disagrees with our perfect opinions!

John would have remembered Jesus' words as he wrote this letter to us.  Jesus turned things upside down by commanding us to not just refrain from hatred of our enemies, but rather we are to love them and even pray for them!

Matthew 5:44
[44] But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (ESV)

Who are your enemies?  Perhaps it is an ex-wife, a current husband, a boss, a political person, or even someone who has done cruel and horrible things to you or someone you love.  If you claim to know Christ, he is calling you to love and pray for such a person.  Hating is not an option.  It will do nothing to them, but it will destroy you, both in this life, and in the next.

Who do you now hate that you need to love?  Remember, that God never asks you to do something he is not willing to help you to do.  Ask him to help you. He will!  He is a master at loving enemies. He loves you, and you were once his enemy.