The apostle John warns his spiritual children of two common spiritual
deceptions. The first occurs in verses 5-7. It is the belief that we can
have fellowship with God and continue to live as our own masters.
John begins by affirming that God is light and in Him there is no darkness.
God is perfectly holy. There is no evil in Him. If we claim to have fellowship
with God, but continue to walk in sin, we are lying to everyone.
Not having fellowship with God means we do not have the mind of God. Without thinking like Him, we will not want what He wants. Without His wants, we will not do His works. Fellowship with God will produce wants and works of light. Our teens must not believe that they can be in fellowship with God apart from having His thoughts, wants, and works.
This truth must shape why and how parents discipline. The goal when correcting a teen’s sinful behavior must be to help the teen think more like Christ. The method of correction must reflect God’s method. Correction should be approached with a “gentle spirit” (Gal. 6:1) and done in kindness (Rom. 2:4). This does not mean that it will never be painful, but that it will produce the fruit of peace and righteousness (Heb. 12:11). What evidence of light is there in your teen’s life and in your correction? We cannot afford to maintain the naïve hope that our teens will walk righteously apart from having the thoughts and wants of Christ.