Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

1 John 2:9-11


Christ’s disciples were known for the love they shared with each other. In fact, Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) Can we even be a part of the Christian faith when we don’t love and have fellowship with those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ?

John says that a person who doesn’t have that love, is living in darkness.

Readers, This is heavy stuff. Not the most uplifting message. But if we’re going to be honest about all that God has to say, we need to examine it once in awhile—the pleasant as well as the not-so-pleasant.

Scripture talks about followers of Christ who may not always be as loving as Jesus calls them to be. Yes, they’re human—they’re bound to stray once in awhile. Don’t we all?

But there are occasions where a person might even come to detest (or hate) a fellow believer. As described by John in the scripture above, such a person might claim “to be in the light,” having fellowship with God. They might convince others of it. However, as a follower of Christ who hates another, he is not truly walking in the light.

“…anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness.” (vs.11)

The closer we are to God, the more responsibility we have to love others—not simply with words, but with actions as well. (1 John 3:18) Love is the greatest proof that we are indeed walking in God’s light. Hatred is proof that God’s love has not impacted our life and that we are still in darkness.

What does John mean when he talks about the light and the darkness?

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)