[Column] Live in the Light of Love

Loving our brethren is of Christ the light. Hating our brethren, however, is of Satan and darkness. Heaven is the kingdom of love and light. By contrast, Hell is the place of hate and darkness. Because darkness still exerts its influence on us, we hate our brethren. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 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 2:9-11).

Love removes a qualm but hate instills it. What does it mean to remove a qualm? It means to cause not to stumble or fall. NIV translation summarizes as follows: “There is nothing in him to make him stumble.” (1 John 2:9). This means we do not stumble if love abides in us but we do if love is absent from us. Stumble in this case means to be broken hearted, tempted, and live a destructive life, not a secure, abundant life. If we fail to resolve hate, unforgiveness, and anger in our hearts, we bring destruction on ourselves.

There is a short story by Tolstoy entitled A Spark Neglected Burns the House. In a vast, fertile farm village lived Ivan and Gabriel families. One day Ivan’s hen flew over to Gabriel family’s house and laid eggs there. When Ivan’s daughter in law went to collect eggs, she found none and accused the granny of Ivan family of stealing. Two families accused each other of wrongdoings and eventually took the matter to the court.

Prior to this, the two families had been on good terms for years. In the midst of the continuing feud, Gabriel while drunk hit Ivan’s daughter in law and was sentenced to be flogged. In spite of his father’s demand of reconciliation, Ivan refused to forgive. One day Gabriel set Ivan’s house on fire and in no time it spread to Gabriel’s house. This short story reminds us where there are distrust and hate, there are enmity and tragedy. In spite of knowing this, man in a moment of rage resort to irreversible destruction.

Behind those who hate are the works of the devil. Their minds are blinded by darkness. Hate and violence darkens our faces and souls. However, forgiveness and love illuminates our faces and souls. As George Herbert said, “He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has a need to be forgiven.” We must eradicate hate and wrath at their roots. Is there anyone among you who has fallen down and stumbled? Seek Divine assistance and cover and forgive the sins and shortcomings of those who have wronged you (Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8). And rise again. Let the light of love shine forth. Follow the light of love and march on the path of happiness. The children of light are those who abide in and emanate that light.

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