1 John 2:10-11
John is very clear about it – if you love your fellow believer you are living in the light. There is nothing in your live-style that will make them stumble. However, if you hate them you are walking in darkness and have no idea where you are going. The talk and the walk must say the same thing or you are blind and can’t see the problem. This analysis is as old as time itself. While the ancient adage is true (“Speak that I may know thee”), John would have it, “Walk that I may know if what you say is true.” In the long run what we do tells the story, not what we say.
On more than one occasion I have written something about man’s unique ability to communicate verbally. Language is the vehicle that allows me transfer an idea from my world to yours. It’s true that when the dog wags his tail or the cat purrs they are “saying” something, but that is a long way from a college professor explaining to a class how a cochlear implant stimulates the nerve endings of a profoundly deaf person’s inner ear. The transfer of an idea from one brain to another is the unique privilege given us in the gift of language. But it has a downside as well; it allows me the opportunity to misrepresent and create a “reality” that doesn’t exist. So should I choose to do something but not want you to understand I can use the same words to create a different world of understanding. This is what provides the duplicitous soul the freedom to do one thing but present it in a totally different light.
What John is saying is simply that your life-style is the true measure of who you are, not your verbal claims. Unfortunately this kind of person is blind toward reality. They walk in the darkness and “the darkness has made them blind.” The question arises, How are we to react to people who cannot see? When we think about it in a physical sense we quickly answer that we need to come to their help wherever possible. We might offer an arm where appropriate, explain a scene on TV, etc. It is the right thing to do. But what if we move this concern for the “blind” into a higher realm, say “spiritual?” Do we exercise a matching concern? We are sad that a neighbor is unable to see the startling sunsets that we enjoy so many summer evenings. We may describe to our disadvantaged neighbor the beauty of tonight’s sunset. It’s important to us to help somehow to counter, at least to some degree, their inability to join us in enjoying the magnificent sight.
So what about the spiritually blind? I leave the question with you.