Book Study: 1 John 2:7-11 part deaux

7 Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.
9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.
10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:7-11

After I posted yesterday, I began to think about something. The light would seem at first to expose character flaws and weaknesses. When I first got an HD television, my first thought wasn’t how much better it looked. My first thought was how much it exposed the actors, how you could see skin flaws and imperfections more easily. So more light, more exposure, doesn’t engender love, it engenders judgement. It makes one more embarrassingly naked. In marriage, when the intimate details of your life are suddenly shared together, it is a shock to see the level of dysfunction that another person can mask in courtship. Light at first glance does not promote love, it promotes scrutiny.

However, the true Light works differently. It exposes flaws to engender compassion, not judgement. It sees past surface flaws and imperfections and sees true worth. Before the true light shines love on them, we only saw their flaws and irritants. Love enables us to see. Peter Rollins puts it beautifully:

This is what love does. It does not make itself visible but rather makes others visible to us. Love does not exist but calls others into existence: for to exist means to stand forth from the background, to be brought into the foreground. Love does not stand forth but brings others forth. When we love our beloved is brought out of the vast, undulating sea of others. Just as the Torah speaks of God calling forth beings from the formless ferment of being so love calls our beloved from the endless ocean of undifferentiated objects. Peter Rollins, Love Beyond Existence

So, the true light is made of grace. It not only looks past faults, ignores flaws, forgives sin, it also seeks to bless and persists in favor when our beloved is underserving. Love is strong enduring unbreakable love.

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