1 John (part 7)

The Daily Omer. Bible Commentary. 1 John. Omer Dylan Redden

In my first entry on 1 John, I shared the quote that God is light.

Here in chapter 4, John says, “God is love.”

So, if you’re a logician, you could set up a syllogism and try to confuse yourself:

  • God is light
  • God is love
  • Thus, light is love

Or, you could try:

  • God is love
  • God is light
  • Thus, love is light

I don’t know. And honestly, I’m not sure it matters that much. Is love light? Is light love? Is John even being literal here?

If John is being literal, then both of his declarations are beyond comprehension. If John is being figurative, which is much more likely, it’s comprehensible, but it’s incredibly difficult to explain. You can run with the metaphors, but it’s tough to know if or when they breakdown.

Perhaps, it would be helpful to look at the contrast. Instead, what if we say, “God isn’t darkness. God isn’t absence. God isn’t loneliness. God isn’t hate. God isn’t indifference. God isn’t isolation.”

Now, there is another thing John says here in chapter 4 that I wanted to draw attention to. John says, “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear.

Have you ever seen a dog afraid of its master? Have you ever seen a wife afraid of her husband? Have you ever seen a kid afraid of their dad? I’ve seen all of those. And I can assure you, in that relationship, there’s not love. There may be a form of respect, but it’s more like the submission of a slave to a master. There certainly isn’t love.

You may think I’m talking about the dog, the wife, or the kid not being able to love the dominant figure in that situation because he’s a jerk, and you’d be right. But I’m talking just as much about the dominant figure in that situation being unable to love the dog, the wife, or the kid. Why? Because love can never be controlling, domineering, overbearing, all authoritative and dictator-like. That person doesn’t love the dog, the wife, or the kid. That person loves himself. That person loves control, dominance, and feeling superior.

Aka, that person is drunk on their own pride.

And pride, my friends, is one of the things God will not tolerate. It’s one of the few things He directly opposes.

So be careful. If you can’t love the person you can see, how can you love the God you cannot see? Loving God includes loving people.

Now, we’re ready for chapter 5…

Published by omerdylanredden

I write.

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