John outlines his reasons for writing in more detail, giving a more in-depth look as to how to make our joy complete (a little oomph to 1 John 1:4). After rebuking division and hypocrisy, John writes to encourage and spur on those that are striving to do the right thing. Whether young in the faith, a more mature Christian, or in the midst of the journey, John has specific encouragement for each.

For the young, cling to God as Father, and your forgiveness received.
For the older, meditate on what you know to be true, from the beginning to now.
For those in between, take strength from God’s promises, (not your surroundings, God’s are unconditional.)
With God, you overcome.

I like this section because it shows me, in micro-view, God’s personality. He intentionally, to draw us near, meets us where we are right now, in whatever age and stage of life. Just as John takes the time and effort to address those in different walks of life, God does so as well. His message, wherever you are – young, older, in between: you have his goodness, and rely on that – particularly through the trial. God’s goodness reigns when his people are slapped in the face with the hypocrisy of others (the pain of the sin caused by those addressed in verses 9-11). Because of people’s hurtful actions, our view of God’s love should not be forever confused and or marred.

Sin that runs unchecked, rampant, and shows now desire for repentance, particularly amongst believers, is not something God takes lightly. However this kind of trial amongst a fellowship doesn’t have to be each individual believer’s beginning and end. Therefore, I think it significant that the verses 12-14 come after rebuking the sin. The rebuke is not his reason for writing. Overall, John’s reason for writing is to encourage, draw near, lift up, and spur on. Whoever, wherever, whatever, God, the Father, has our back. His word lives to bolster us and to help us overcome.

{Meditations on 1 John 2:12-14}

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