John’s short letter is full of powerful truth. He has shared God-inspired wisdom about walking away from sin, forgiving others, and accepting God’s forgiveness so we might walk in freedom.
John goes on to say, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God”;(1 John 3:21)
While we know we can’t trust our hearts (Jer 17:9), and we know we are capable of deceiving ourselves (1 John 1:6)—we also know there are times our hearts have done business with the Lord, we have confessed and forsaken sin, God has forgiven us, and we have confidence before Him.
But others may have not forgiven us. They may not have released us from the debt of the sin we may have committed.
God has. But they haven’t.
There may be people in our lives who will never forget our sin.
There may also be people who blame us for things we didn’t do. There may be people who don’t like us just because we choose not to join them in their sin or call things sin they do not.
But remember, they all have hearts that are deceitful above all things too.
In these situations, we can still have confidence toward God and find refuge there.
What’s more, as we deliberately remember His forgiveness, patience, and grace, we can offer forgiveness, patience, and grace to others.
It’s not that we shouldn’t care about how others feel about us, and try to live peaceably with all, but God’s thoughts toward us should always trump what others think of us.
Let’s me say that again, God’s thoughts, as revealed in His Word, should always trump what others think of us.
In these moments, we have to remember walking in right fellowship with the Lord is our best confidence. He’s enough. We can find peace and security as we go to Him and ask Him to guard our hearts and minds in Him. (Phil 4:7)
Paul wrote, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. (Phil 3:12-14)
We may sometimes feel alone in this world. But that’s okay, we stand not for the praise of men but the cause of Christ—so we press on.
Oh friends, let’s truly love others with the grace God has given us and remember, our goal is an upward prize-we live for an audience of One. So, we can be okay even if others aren’t okay with us.