He shakes the sand off his feet and goes on to the next problem he will solve.  Afterall, he knows the answers…

Sam is saved, redeemed and sits in the front row of his Bible classes so that he will not miss a single word of the professor. At last, he knows all the answers to how to minister! And then comes the weekend. His sister Katie visits. She is a believer, struggling with hurts suffered from other believers. She opens up to Sam. He immediately jumps at the opportunity to straighten out his sister; to give her the prescription he has carefully memorized. Surely his love has been transformed?

Yet, things don’t go as planned. Katie takes afront to him and clams up. Sam has just dumped on her the truth and she has not listened. The brother shakes the sand off his feet and goes on to the next problem he will solve.  Afterall, he knows the answers…


The author of I John is the same disciple who wanted to call down fire from heaven upon those who rejected Jesus. (Luke 9:52-55) Sam’s behavior toward Katie is akin to the Luke account. However, disciple John featured in the Book of Luke and the John writing the epistle of I John are as different as night and day. The mature version of John has learned the love that makes every effort to conform to God’s mindset toward believers, even the prickly ones who have gotten a little lost in the shuffle. John’s love has been transformed.


Transformed love described in I John 2:7-11 is not a new love. The commandment existed from the beginning but there is new energy when a believer begins to live and obey the word. The Holy Spirit transforms us, enabling us to have the same love Jesus extended to His “besties”, the disciples.


This is foundational to the gospel message. John Piper writes: “For John, the commandment of love belongs to what people should hear from the beginning. It is not an optional stage two in Christian growth.” The gospel contains not only the commandment to trust Jesus, but also the commandment, by the power of that trust in Christ, demanding transformation into a new loving person.


In that living room, Sam never listened to Katie, never shared her pain, never waited for the nudging of the Holy Spirit in the conversation. Sam considers himself the pharmacist, the one who dispenses the medicine and goes on to the next patient. He does not beg Christ to change him into a loving person who can walk alongside his sister, helping her to heal.


It is costly to walk alongside someone who is hurting. Jesus spent three years walking alongside 12 men whose spiritual growth was often negligible. Yet, He endured, nudging them toward maturity.  John commands that this type of love enter the life of every believer. It is not optional. The Apostle John pretty much says, “If you don’t want to love, then you have not been changed.” Sam missed the boat by not bending to the command to fully and humbly love his sister. Is your ability to love transformed by the power and wisdom of Christ? Can Katie safely come knocking at your door?

For further inspiration regarding transforming love, watch the testimony of Gracia Burnham