“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
This verse says that the sin of hatred does three things:
- It puts us in darkness and out of fellowship with God
- It leads to aimless activity and the possibility of a fall
- It causes us to lose spiritual direction (this verse)
But he who hates his brother is in darkness
John puts the phrase “he who hates” in antithesis to “he who loves.” This is the thrust of verse 9.
and walks in darkness,
A hater walks in darkness. This is no occasional excursion into darkness but a course of life. He cannot fellowship with a God characterized by light (1:5). A person who hates lives in antithesis to the God of the Bible. He belies his profession.
1: 6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
Walking in fellowship with the Lord requires direction and power from the Holy Spirit.
The only way we can break out of darkness is to confess our sin (1:9). If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to work in our souls, our spirit will curdle. We will have a sour outlook toward others. Everything will be sour grapes to us. We lose spiritual direction.
God does not call upon us to love others with our own puny love. He provides the power of the Holy Spirit to love others with a caliber beyond our own. We can draw on God’s limitless resource to love the not so lovely.
Ro 5: 5 “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Ga 5: 16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh… 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love…”
If Christians loved with the love of the Spirit, it would make a great impact on those without Christ. They would say, “Those people are different over there. They love one another. They don’t gossip or backbite. They do not knife each other in the back.”
There are believers all around us who carry broken hearts. They are discouraged and defeated. They have financial problems or domestic problems. They have problems with their boss. They need love in the struggle with all these problems. They need demonstration of divine love.
Many Christians walk out of church and do not ask penetrating questions of other believers. All they contribute to other believers is a glorified “hello” and “goodbye.” They have no genuine interest in fellow Christians. If there is any place on earth where we should love one another, it is in the household of faith. If we cannot find it there, we will not find it at work.