It’s impossible to pass through human life without being hurt or offended. Such offenses may leave us wounded—bitter, angry, full of hate.

Yet God loves the world—every human being (John 3:16). He causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good (Matt. 5:45), and He charges us to love not only our fellow believers (John 13:34) but even our enemies (Matt. 5:44).

First John 3:14 says, “We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers.” This transfer from death to life happens once for all when we believe in the Lord. But the verse continues: “He who does not love abides in death.” This refers to a believer who, in their Christian walk, because of some offense, does not love—perhaps even hates—a fellow believer.

When we are wounded, we may end up in spiritual death and darkness because we’re hating a brother (1 John 3:14; 2:11). But if we allow the Lord within us—the One who loved us and gave His life for us even when we were His enemies (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 5:10)—to infuse us with Himself as love to forgive others, we can pass once more out of death into life.

Please note—to forgive does not mean to condone abuse or return to an abusive situation. We can let go of an offense and no longer have any significant relationship with the offender. If you are experiencing or have experienced physical or emotional abuse, we encourage you to seek help from a trained mental health professional in addition to opening to the Lord.

To learn more about 1 John 3:14, we recommend reading the footnotes on this verse in the Recovery Version of the Bible, published by Living Stream Ministry.

This is one of a series of songs we wrote for the upcoming North America College Training. We hope you enjoy it!