Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother hath need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?(1Jh 3vs13-17)
When a person lives in hatred, he automatically manifest the Worldliness in him. This is because Christ is love and the world is the opposite of what Christ is. That is why the scripture says we are the light of the world. Therefore, when you begin to feel hatred in your heart for someone who is more successful than you or you feel other people’s dislike for you because of your progress know that it is the worldly nature coming out. The fact is that once you begin to move up in life and achieve progress, people’s behaviour towards you could either change for good or bad.
The ability to handle the success of your brother without any strive in your heart is a test from God to see how much of Him you are becoming.
The first test of love is how you handle your brother’s success as he moves up despite your own set back and still remember him in your prayers. Nobody gets jealous of someone else’s spiritual maturity except it is a tangible manifestation. This is because it is only physical manifestation that triggers jealousy and hatred. As a believer who understands the love of God and what it has done, you must not hate people who have moved ahead of you instead, you are expected to lay down your life for them.
The second test of love is your ability to forgive when someone offends or hurt you. This is because Christianity is about people offending you, yet you still love, pray and forgive them. For instance, someone cheats you and you are angry about it. God says let it go; not only to forgive the person but to love and cover the person’s sin in prayer. Just like Jesus died and became the propitiation for our sins. That is praying that the person will not experience the consequences of what he did.
This is the spiritual dimension of this principle, when you intercede for those that have offended you; it means you pray for the removal of the curse of their sin over their life, thereby praying for blessing, good health and wealth upon their souls. Therefore, you must be able to pass the first test which is to love no matter the circumstance because it does not matter how deeply your action of giving affects people around, if you still hate your brother, all you have done means nothing without love.
But if any provide not for his own and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel (1Tim 5vs8). When you walk in love certain structures or habit must be in place, such as creating institutions that will help people or contributing in anyway meaningful to these institutions. Your life style is also important in this principle. How you treat and behave towards those you help is of great importance.
As believers you must do it with great respect and love for humanity and not with scorn or pride. Starting with those closest to you, you must show love to them before doing the same to strangers. The bible describes people who can help those around them but refuse to do so as being ‘being worse than an infidel’. Therefore, you have the responsibility to be respectful and considerate when giving because the simple action of giving can either bring curse or blessing depending on how you do it.
In conclusion, there is wisdom and structure in love. For you to stand firm in life you must avoid strive, bitterness or anger in your heart towards anybody no matter what they have done to you. Therefore, to win in life and to continually have Christ on your side you must walk in the power of forgiveness and love. Consequently, this will place you at the centre of God’s love which will ultimately guide you in making good decisions and protect you from the consequence of bad ones made.
Pastor Poju Oyemade’