Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1 John 2:11

"But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes."
1 John 2:11

I wonder how much we blind ourselves in this life, by introducing darkness into our own lives, and muddying and corrupting our perception of everything.  In Matthew 6:23 and in 3 Nephi 13:23, there is a similar verse: "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"  Hatred kills.  It never kills the object of our hatred, but it kills us... the people feeling the hatred.
Why do we hate?  Sometimes it is for past wrongs, for people who harmed or cheated us or people we love.  Sometimes it is just reciprocal... you hate us, so okay, we hate you too.  Sometimes it is generations or centuries long... our ancestors hated each other, so let's keep the hate alive.  We see this in the Book of Mormon.  The Lamanites were taught to hate the Nephites as children... parents teaching hate over generations... all because some big brothers couldn't control or rule their little brother.  Sometimes it is politics or religion.  We see the world differently, and have different priorities, so let's hate each other since you are standing in the way of my goals.  Sometimes it is just where we were born, or skin color.  Sometimes it is wealth and privilege.  Sometimes it is current or past sins.  ... And we can justify all day about whether there are valid reasons for hatred.  But in *every* case, the emotion of hating causes personal darkness.  It blacks out the light.  It leaves us lost.  It fills us with a hole that sucks in everything and is never satisfied.  It obstructs our path, and restricts our choices just because we can't see past the hatred.
Today, let's let go of the hate and the darkness within us.  Let's walk in the light.  Often, people who harmed us in the past didn't understand what they were doing, or didn't mean to... or they did mean to, but they now regret it.  And in those cases, maybe repentance and forgiveness can come together to heal.  But even if not... even if they meant it, and are completely unrepentant... we shouldn't let hate eat our souls.  The only way to break the cycle of hatred and stop it spreading to further generations is to love... and teach love to others.  Let's heal where we have hurt.  Let's love where we have hated.  Let's cure the open wounds of our society by finding ways to work together for mutual goals rather than fighting each other.

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