1 John 2:10-11 “Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness…the darkness has blinded him.”
Love is blind. We’ve all heard that expression, right? Well I think hate blinds far more than love. Love blinds the lover to the flaws of its beloved. It “covers a multitude of sins.” But hatred blinds the hater from anything redeemable in its object of hate. Quite a sharp distinction. Love blocks the bad; hate blocks the good.
Islamic extremists. Oppressive dictators. Racial tensions. Political trash talk. No one can deny the toxic atmosphere of today’s culture. It seems whole industries exist because they thrive on anger. Anger that inevitably leads to hatred. It’s a sad state of affairs when men and women feel validated most when they’re offended. Especially when they channel those offenses into malice. I hate therefore I am.
Demonizing people who look differently, think differently and act differently in order to justify our own cause can only happen if we let the darkness overcome the light. If we refuse to see the “fellow” in our fellowman, the “brother” in our brotherhood. If we would rather nurture our grievances than do the hard work of looking beyond the surface.
As devastating as hatred can be, it often arrives subtly…
It doesn’t come pounding on our door in full-bloom ugliness. It’s usually disguised in a variety of rationalizations. Knock-knock: Look how he took advantage of you. Knock-knock: How could she betray you like that? Knock-knock: You idiot, get off the road if you can’t drive! Knock-knock: If they’re elected, I’m leaving the country. Beware of entertaining even the small shadows of hatred.
So why am I telling you to watch out for hate? You already know this. But Jesus warned in the last days sin would run so rampant that the love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). I don’t want you or me to be in that majority. When sin increases, we’re not to abound in righteous indignation, but we’re to let the grace of Christ flourish even more. Let’s be in the glorious minority. Let’s refuse to be blinded by hate. Let’s choose light. Let’s overcome the world through the unfailing, inextinguishable, everlasting love of God.