ODJ: the vital balance

July 11, 2014 

READ: 2 John 1:1-6 

I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth (v.1).

Her voice shook as she told me about the problem she was having with her daughter. The concerned mother was worried that her teenager was mixing in with bad company, so she confiscated her daughter’s mobile phone and now chaperones her everywhere. But their relationship has now gone from bad to worse. So what should this mother do?
When I talked to the daughter recently, I discovered that she loves her mum dearly, but feels like she’s suffocating under an iron fist of love. She longs to break free. So what should this daughter do?

In 2 John the apostle John wrote about walking in both love and truth. This vital balance is important in all interpersonal relationships. John told his readers that there are things that love includes and things that love excludes.

How do we know which is which? That’s where truth comes in. Because of our fall into sin, our love is limited and often distorted. We need God’s truth to instruct us in what to do and how to do it. Similarly, we need love to help us put those truths into action!

And to help us see love as more than simply mushy sentimentality, John defines it for us: “Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another” (v.6). In other words, we love each other best when we obey His Word.

Both the mother and daughter I’ve been striving to help need to know God’s love and God’s truth. John reminds us that “Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love” (v.3). Isn’t that encouraging?

As we learn to walk with Jesus, God’s Word shapes our thinking and affects our emotions. May it guide us to love well in all of our relationships! —Poh Fang Chia

365-day plan› Matthew 13:44-52

Read Romans 13:8-10 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. What should love do, and what should it not do? 
What verse from 2 John can you apply to one of your difficult relationships? How could this relationship change as you walk in truth and love?