First John, chapter 1, verse 5, shows clear‑cut opposites there ‑ lie or truth, light or darkness. They are absolute terms in which God thinks and divide the things. He wants to change our minds to look at the world in the same way.
One clear‑cut opposition that's all the way through this epistle of John is between sin and righteousness. John says in one part of it, "All unrighteousness is sin." It's like if you want to know what is crooked, the best way is simply to point out what is straight. And then you say, "Anything that deviates from what is straight is crooked." It doesn't matter whether it deviates 10 degrees or 15 degrees or 90 degrees; if it's not straight, it's crooked. So, all through this epistle, John speaks about sin and righteousness. And if we want to know what sin is, all unrighteousness is sin.
This might seem obvious, but for many Christians, it isn’t. Many tend to think that just a little bit of unrighteousness is, in fact, less sinful than very clear unrighteousness, but this is a human way of thinking, not God’s way. And again, we have to change our way of thinking to His ways. I think this is one of the reasons why the Church nowadays is in such a pitiful state. Our way of categorizing should always find its source in His Word, and He says: ‘all unrighteousness is sin’.
And then in the second chapter of this epistle, verses 9 and 10, John says this:
"He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him." (NKJ)
Notice there again, another clear‑cut opposite ‑ hate or love. And John seems to imply that there isn't much in between and I think he's right. If we don't love people, and yet they're important in our lives and we're confronted with them and we have to relate to them, the relationship tends to descend to hate. So it's love or hate.
Heavenly Father, thank You for seeing my spiritual brothers and sisters as members of Your family, and that in our dealings with each other, love will always rule even, when sometimes correction and confrontation in love are necessary. Make us full of Your love and truth in our dealings with each other. Amen.
This devotional is taken from
God invites us to fellowship with Him, but to do this we must bring our ways and thoughts into line with His.