“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9-11)
Anyone who has any hatred toward his brother is blind, and doesn’t know where he is going. Examine yourself, has anyone done something to you for which you are still holding a grudge against them? The Bible plainly states that we are not to hold a grudge. “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:17, 18)
Peter counseled us to add to our “godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:7-9) We need to love our brothers and sisters. If we do not love them, then we are blind.
How many of us are blind? How many of us yet need to be totally submitted to Christ, so that He can take away our hatred for our brothers and sisters?
Jesus tells us today, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
For us to finally get rid of hatred we must deny ourselves; we must forsake our thoughts and let Christ live in us. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)
God has promised, and cannot lie, that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) To bear a grudge and hate your brother is a sin that must be confessed and forsaken. Pride seeks to step in and keep you from acknowledging your transgression. Refuse to hold on to your anger any longer. Say with David, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (Psalm 51:1-3)
The Bible teaches that there are conditions that must be met before we can be pardoned from our sins. We must acknowledge that we have done wrong, and be sorry for our sins. “For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” (Psalm 38:18) We must confess our sins, and we must believe that He will forgive us because He promised.
One of the most important requirements for us to be forgiven, is for us to forgive others. “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) In the heart of the “Lord’s Prayer” this same thought is found. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) We are to ask the Lord to forgive us our sins in the same way that we forgive those who have wronged us. That is very serious friends. We better make certain that we forgive those who sin against us.
Jesus said, “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:3, 4) Regardless of how severe the sin that someone has committed against you, if they ask you to forgive them, you must do so if you expect God to forgive you.
In the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, Jesus gave us an illustration of why it is so important to forgive others. He said, “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents [an extremely large amount of money—about $16,180,000] But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
“But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence [a very small and insignificant amount of money—about $14]: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
“So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” (Matthew 18:23-35)
If we do not forgive our brothers God will not forgive us. My friends, let us be very quick to forgive. I would much rather be found on the side of leniency than on the side of inflexibility.
“For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.” (Proverbs 30:21-23) In the New King James Version, it reads, “A hateful woman when she is married…”
A person who hates, when they are married is something that is very hard to deal with. If anyone of you is in this situation, I am sure you know what this scripture means.
The wise man told us, “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.” (Proverbs 29:22) Let all contention and strife be put far away from you. Always be careful not to say or do anything that will cause contention and strife. Especially in the marriage relation is this most necessary. Many needless hours of grief and hardship are endured, all because of minor differences, misunderstandings, and intentional controversies. Satan exalts when he has triumphed in bringing out some bitter word or railing accusation from the lips of those who claim to be living in the light of last-da