Our love must be guided by the truth

Apr 4, 2024

2 John 1:5-6 - “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 

[6] And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”

At the beginning of his second epistle, John expresses his love for the "elect lady and her children" who were following the teachings of Christ. He had received positive reports about their way of life and understood that they were on the right path. He urged them to continue on this path and to love one another, which is the foundation of their faith.

During the early years of Christianity, a heretical belief system known as Docetism emerged. This belief denied the true humanity of Jesus and taught that he only appeared to be human. This false teaching posed a significant threat to the integrity of the Christian faith and, therefore, required a strong and decisive response from John.

In his letter, John warned them to stay away from these false teachers and remain steadfast in their faith. His encouragement was not simply to love one another but to love within the boundaries of truth so as not to be led astray by the deceptive teachings of the Docetists. By doing so, John sought to preserve the purity of the Christian faith and ensure that its followers remained faithful to its teachings.

His strong encouragement involved loving one another. However, John did not leave love undefined; he described it as walking “according to His commandments.” This is the teaching of Jesus in John’s gospel, where the Lord told His followers, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

The intensity of our love towards God is intertwined with our obedience to Him. It is a common misconception that our obedience only affects us, but our actions directly impact our love for God. When we choose to disobey, we are essentially choosing to distance ourselves from God, weakening our love for Him. 

On the other hand, when we remain obedient and faithful to Him, our love for Him grows stronger and deeper. But that is not true. Whether obedient or disobedient, our actions have ripple effects beyond our limited vision.

Let's take a moment to reflect on the impact of our actions on those around us. Our obedience or disobedience can significantly influence the lives of those in our immediate circle of relationships. 

As we strive to stay true to ourselves and our values, remember John's wise words and remain vigilant against the dangers of falling away from the truth. Also, we should prioritize obedience in our lives—for ourselves and those most important to us. This is the way we must express the love that God gave us. 

Our Prayers for today:

Dear God, today we pray that our love for You and others is rooted in truth. Help us acknowledge and follow Your commandments and show our love through righteous living and faithful service. Please forgive us for the times when we have fallen short in this regard. We ask for Your guidance and wisdom as we strive to be more mindful and faithful. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.