“ He that loveth his brother abideth in light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and knoweth not wither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. “ (1 John 2:10-11)
I think we could safely say that the distance between a Christian and a non-Christian can be measured in light years (In case you’ve forgotten, 1 light year = about 5.88 trillion miles). The first two chapters of this book make this kind of distinction abundantly clear. But, as this verse indicates, to some extent, Christians can fall prey to this phenomenon, as well. It is possible for God’s children to experience temporary darkness, as one might if he or she is rendered unconscious; but it is virtually impossible for someone who is filled with the Light of the Universe to remain in permanent darkness.
What causes this temporary darkness? Well, as these verses indicate, one thing that will do it every time is hatred. They may say, “Love is blind”; but, in reality, it is hate that lacks real insight, or “inner light,” if you will. In fact, according to this verse, hate can be so blinding, you can’t even see where you’re going. (“…knoweth not whither he goeth…”) Sometimes, we piously insist that we really don’t hate; we just strongly dislike a brother or sister in Christ. But I’m afraid the line between the two can become so blurred we stumble over the line without being conscious of it. That’s all part of blindness.
David said in Psalm 139 that he was able to hate the enemies of God with a “perfect hatred,” but he never included fellow believers in this category. These verses in 1 John are spoken to you and me, because it is possible to allow hatred for a brother or sister in Christ to worm its way into our regenerated hearts. For that reason, we should be on our guard against strong and/or prolonged feelings of resentment against a fellow believer.
We just might wake up one day and find ourselves stumbling around in the dark.