Read 1 John 3
Focus on verse 11-13
During the last election cycle the opponents of the current president Donald Trump attempted to raise a movement against him using the slogan “Love Trumps Hate”. Of all the things that were said by the candidates about each other, I’ve always felt this was possibly one of the most truthful statements. Whether what the Clinton Campaign meant to imply in this was true or not will be born out as history unfolds, but the statement “Love trumps hate” as a stand alone statement is a true statement. In the end, love will trump hate. What is confusing currently is who the true bearers of love are and who the real haters are. Many attempt to define which is which by their political affiliation, which to a large extent has served only to exacerbate the division that already exists between the left and the right in the nation. I would suggest that there are people who love and people who hate on both sides of nearby all the issues that divide us. The way to identify them is by the presence of genuine love.
In today’s reading John gives us a pretty accurate evaluation of why those who love and those who hate don’t get along.
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (v. 11-13)
The root of this division can be traced back to the pride that incited Lucifer to rebel against God. Ever since that event, he has spent every once of his effort to deceive and destroy that which God created to be good. Cain murdered his brother Abel essentially because he was jealous. He was deceived in his mind into believing that God loved Abel more than Cain. God was simply asking Cain to repent of his rebellion, which Cain refused to do, and in his anger he made matters worse by killing his brother.
I see this pattern repeated every day in the lives of people around me. People who are deceived into believing the lie of Satan that it will make them happy if they get revenge. Others who are deceived into believing that money, sex, and/or power will give them the fulfillment they seek. People who refuse to submit to God because they have been deceived into believing that God either doesn’t exist, or will somehow limit their freedom. Sadly, the response many of these people choose when they are confronted with their rebellion against God is the same response that Cain chose – in their twisted deceived minds they somehow believe that if they can just remove the righteous people from around them – they will feel better about themselves, so they attack anyone who behaves in a manner that reminds them of their sin.
It is not easy, nor is it painless to truly demonstrate and express love in this kind of a climate. If Jesus is our example, we should not be surprised, as John states, when “the world hates us” . We should, in fact, expect it. We might even go so far as to suggest that if we get no push-back from the world that it may be reason to question if we are demonstrating our allegiance to Christ very clearly.
When we allow God to use us to love others as Jesus loved us, there will be some who will find it attractive and want to follow Him as well, and there will be others who will want to kill us, and in some cases may succeed. This is not reason to be alarmed, it is reason to be encouraged since it means we are successfully allowing God to use love to trump hate through us.