i just started a new series on sunday mornings out of 1 john. today i covered the first chapter and thought i'd share some of what i learned in connection to what i've seen/noticed around me recently.
John tells us to walk in the Light. not to dabble in it. not to sit in it. not to lay stagnant in it, and not to put your right hand in, put your right hand out and do the hokey pokey in it. he tells us to walk in it. as we go. as we move forward. to stay in the light.
i realized a crucial aspect of this passage as i thought about my own life and the lives of those i am priveleged to minister to. when we walk in the Light as opposed to darkness, we need full exposure. it's not enough to keep any part of our sin or who we are in the darkness and only expose some of ourselves to the Light. that's a weakened view of the Gospel and power of Christ. that's a false empowerment of sin in our lives.
when we talk about our sins and refer to them as mere "issues", that's not full exposure.
when we only say "impure thoughts" but mean "p0rnography", that's not full exposure.
when we only say "unhealthy relationship" with our boyfriend/girlfriend but mean "going too far physically", that's not full exposure.
when we only say "strained interaction" with our family but mean "hate and unforgiveness", that's not full exposure.
when we only say that we "lack self control" but mean we're "addicted to drugs/alcohol", that's not full exposure.
when we only say we have "dark/bad thoughts" but mean "suicidal thoughts", that's not full exposure.
as we soften the terms and labels we use to explain or describe our sins, we're holding tightly to them with a fear that they cannot be overcome. we're trying to manage and control them on our own. if we sugarcoat our sins to the point that it's comfortable to talk about them, we remove the need for the power of Christ over them. i see this in myself and others like me who HATE to show weakness. who HATE being vulnerable. who HATE being wrong and needing help. but as our sin weakens us, it should point us to the only one capable of victory. when we reduce our sins to "struggles" and keep the full weight of our depravity hidden in the darkness, we lose sight of our need for a Savior.
it's often more comfortable to struggle in darkness than to expose ourselves fully to the Light of the world. walking in the Light means putting ourselves out there and keeping ourselves out there. it's not a "one and done" moment in the spotlight of Jesus. it's a lifelong walk in the Light. walking in the Light reminds us that the power of sin was obliterated on the cross. and the sin that is ultimately powerless against us can be named without fear as we expose it and the rest of our selves to the Light that is Jesus Christ. i don't write this as someone who has cornered the market in this arena, either. my flesh fears full exposure. i don't want it, but i need it. we all do.
(Cross-posted at The Thinklings)