Hate is Blind

They say “Love is blind” but John says they got it wrong.  Hate is blind.  Here it is:

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.  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 and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.  (1 John 2:9-11)

Love, as Jesus taught it, is a radical choice to put aside what I want so I can take care of what you need.  Hate is the opposite:  taking care of what I want instead of ministering to what you need.  Thus, the default attitude of the world – take care of number 1, in effect is hate.

The interesting thing, is that John says people hate  because they have been blinded by “the darkness.”  The darkness, in John’s words, is the attitude of people in the world who have not received the Holy Spirit.  They live in the darkness and are blinded by it.

Jesus, on the other hand, John says, is the Source of “Light.”

In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:4-5)

John’s logic (and Jesus’ “logos”) leads us to this conclusion:  If we understood reality the way Jesus does, if we had not been blinded by the ways of the world, we would naturally love.  Self-sacrificial love, Jesus’ kind of love, would make more sense to us than selfishness or hate.   Trouble is, people don’t like to change.  Radical, “upside down,” ideas are threatening to our comfortable rhythms as we live in the “same-old same-old.”    That’s why Jesus said:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.   (John 3:19)

This is a tough teaching.  Tough, but true.  How is it with you?

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