“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” - 1 John 3:15
We often divide sins in our mind into “large sins” and “small sins.” We classify them as such according to how many people are affected, the heinousness of the sin, and how long the physical consequences last. Perhaps we take solace, much as the Pharisee did, that we are not nearly as bad as others because we only slip up with “small sins.”
There are a few instances in the New Testament where the writers attempt to break us out of this mindset of small and large sins by equating what we would consider a small sin to what we would consider a large sin. We might mentally assign hating our bother as a “small sin” or we might even label it as merely personality conflicts. John does not want us to be so lackadaisical about our sin.
John says the one who hates his brother is a murderer. Consider the consequences. We would be placing a stumbling block in front of them, harming the one for whom Christ died. We would be neglecting our duties to love our brothers, encourage, uplift, bear burdens, and so many others. We would be tearing apart God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:17). And along with all that, we would be losing our eternal life. Don’t be a murderer. Burry the hatchet, and love your brother.