shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall surely rebuke your
neighbor and not bear sin because of him" (Leviticus 19:17 - NKJV)
verse for today seems strange for God tells us through Moses, "You
shall surely rebuke your neighbor" (NKJV), and those words are not what most
would expect from the Lord. The New International translation is closer
to the Hebrew expression, which says: "Do not hate your
brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not
share in his guilt." In other words, be open and honest about
who you are and what you feel toward people. Far too many have a smile
on the outside but carry resentments within. A hidden attitude such as
that is actually what is called, “hypocrisy.”
Scripture verse could be used as a "club" to harm other people but it is certain that
was never its intended use. That conclusion is clear because the very next verse teaches us to
"love your neighbor as yourself"
(Leviticus 19:18). How can we be fully honest with another person, and
yet "love" them, as we are commanded by
It is certain that to become completely open with others can bring suffering to
them. Paul, who committed his life and teaching to the leadership of
the Holy Spirit of God, anticipated this, urging us to be "speaking
the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). He completely understood
that walking up to another person and saying, "I
don't like your looks," can be bad for them (and for you, too).
when you feel personally wounded by someone, it is better to tell them
of your hurt than to carry resentment against them. That's our
Scripture for today: "You shall not hate your
brother in your heart; you shall surely rebuke your neighbor and not
bear sin because of him" (Leviticus 19:17).
was asked by "one of the scribes" (Mark
12:28), "What is the foremost commandment of
all?" Jesus answered the man by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, stating you
must honestly and completely "love the Lord your
God," which is your greatest need in life.
"Examine yourself" as it says in 2 Corinthians 13:5. What do you find inside that is
most important for you? Is it your money, your marriage, children, job,
savings, health? What about your reputation? Often, when we just don't
LIKE somebody, it's not about them at all - it's about ourselves. They
might remind us of someone who hurt us in the past, and we don't like
them by association. Watch and learn - QUESTION your motives,
and now let's look again, for Jesus was still answering the scribe's question.
continued, "and the second
(commandment) like it is this: You shall
love your neighbor as yourself," a quote from Leviticus 19:18, the
Scripture right after our verse for today. If you don’t love those
who did you wrong, you should honestly question yourself: What do my thoughts
and attitudes say about - me?
again: How can you be honest and yet carry out the command of God to
LOVE others, including and especially those who don't LIKE YOU? Jesus
made it even more hard for us by stating, "love your
enemies" (Matthew 5:44) which is often somewhere between difficult and impossible when you were
badly treated by someone like your child, spouse, parent, sibling, a
former friend, or some person in a position of trust who betrayed you.
It is important, when it is possible to do so, to somehow tell that person they have hurt you and yet do it in
love. Both of you need to understand what happened, even when we know that to grow not only as
friends but also as people, some pain from those discussions will occur.
in the Desert," we read, "The best
things of life come out of wounding. Wheat is crushed before it becomes
bread. Incense must be cast upon the fire before its odors are set
free. The ground must be broken with the sharp plough before it is
ready to receive the seed. It is the broken heart that pleases God.
The sweetest joys in life are the fruits of sorrow. Human nature seems
to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world."
can produce growth or they can cause death. A graft into a fruit tree
is a major wound, but it also leads to the production of bountiful fruit by that
tree. Too great a wound or if the cutting is done improperly; the tree
can actually die. The good news for us all is that Jesus gave His life for you and
for me. His death and new life are to us like a good graft is to a
tree. When we love Him who died for us, He gives us His life and the bonus is that we are forgiven in the sight of God. And if
we love the Lord, which is His first command, we can learn to love others, for
He will give us His love and bring it to pass.
the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) is risky. We might be
embarrassed, not only for the other person but note that all of their friends
may reject us and our honesty. But to "rebuke your neighbor
and not bear sin because of him" (Leviticus 19:17) is a great
way to grow from the point where you felt injured by them. As Amy
Carmichael said, “If I put my own good name
before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary’s love.”
Be honest with others and always do it in love. And carefully note once more that you must include the Lord in all of this, for true reconciliation is from the heart of God.
We must be honest with our
Lord. Jim Limpp said, “It’s hard to try to
imagine a life lived for God that is based on dishonesty, but an amazing
number of people try to pull it off.” We have all tried to fool
the Lord, even when we understand “He knows the
secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21). God knows our resentments,
but too often we try to “sneak one by Him.” Every day is a good day to
tell your heavenly Father – everything!
statement "love your neighbor as yourself," in Leviticus 19:18, continues: “I am the Lord.”
We can only love others honestly and be open with them through the power and love
of God. Human love will fall short - we need God’s power to forgive
(and love) our neighbor.
Father, all too often we “hate
(someone) in (our)
heart” (Leviticus 19:17) and just try to go on, as though life
was the same. Forgive and heal us, Lord. Cleanse us from our sins.
Let us be truly Yours. Show Your love, Your forgiveness in us and through us. Thank You. In Jesus
Friday Study Ministries
Write to: Ron@FridayStudy.org
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"
To receive our weekly studies and sermons by
email, contact: Ron@FridayStudy.org or sign-up in our Weekly Bulletin. To join our Prayer
Team, contact Ron@FridayStudy.org.
Become a supporter of FSM, The First Church On The Net and
send charitable donations to:
Friday Study Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131 USA
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)