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, verse 11.
Here’s another comparison, this time to verse 9, which also talked about darkness. Notice, though, how the Apostle John takes verse 11 a little bit farther.
Darkness is blinding.
It’s not that it causes our eyes to not work because they work just fine. Or that the things of the world are not present in the darkness because if you’ve ever stepped on a Lego in the dark, you know they’re there. And it’s also not as if we can’t choose otherwise, because the verse insinuates that we choose the darkness because we choose to hate our brothers.
It’s because that darkness symbolizes the result of hatred. It’s a condition caused by our emotions, by our choices. We foster hatred against someone and it leaves us feeling moody, pensive, edgy, even more emotional. Isn’t it easier to call on other emotions, to whip things up, when we’re arguing or bathed in anger and hatred than when we feel relaxed and loved? That’s no coincidence. It’s how we’re wired, and it’s something the Apostle understood. Those feelings of rage, anger and malice cause us to feel dark inside, to harbor thoughts or intentions that we wouldn’t otherwise do.
The thing about the dark is that we don’t have to choose to be in it.
I’ve had the flu for the last five days. For most of the time, I sat in bed or in a chair in front of the TV feeling miserable. It forced me to cancel a business trip, to take off sick from work, to be completely un-functional at home, and to not write these words for several days. It felt dark to me, as if the virus was a dark agent invading my body. For awhile, the darkness took hold. However, I knew that, in time, with vitamins, rest and medicine, my body would fight back and be healed; I had faith. The thing about darkness is that it’s blinding but we don’t have to choose it. We can choose light because healing is in the light. Life is in the light. Christ is the light. We’re free to choose that, to choose Him and be un-blinded.
Dear Jesus of Light, thank you for your healing bright light. Shine your light on the dark places in my life so that you can heal them and help me to help others today. Help me to turn from ways I’ve hated my fellow man, and to live as you would live.