5 Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 5-7 (NET)
I was thinking about this passage this morning, realizing that it is so important to remember to keep our life and actions in the light, and to develop an increased awareness of any little tug towards wanting to do things behind closed doors, in the shadows, or “out of sight.” Like they say about relationships, if you don’t want anyone to know about it, it’s probably not right. And it is like that with other aspects of our lives as well; the things we think, the books we read, the shows we watch, and the things we allow ourselves in our leisure and entertainment time. If we don’t want people to know about it, and we’re not proud of it, then there is a good chance we shouldn’t be doing it. Of course sometimes it’s not the case, sometimes a humble human pleasure like reading a particular book, or drinking a glass of wine can make us feel uncomfortable, but it is still alright to do it. So we don’t always have to stop doing everything, but we should try to live our lives out in the light as much as possible. I think this discomfort is good – it helps us to check ourselves, and to criticize our own actions. For example, drinking openly, with others (as opposed to drinking alone) is much better for the soul; it helps to keep us humble, and it keeps our actions “in the light.” And the more we can learn to live our lives out in the open, honestly, the more we will be enabled to be men and women of integrity, and be children of the light and of the truth.
Living in the light is not for the faint of heart – when we live our lives in the open, people may criticize our actions. There was a time when people sought criticism, because they were earnest in their search for truth. There were people who thought that you could learn something from everyone, even from your enemy. True, no one enjoys being criticized, but it is important to remember that there is something very good and cleansing about choosing to do things “in the light,” where others can see and give us their feedback. Of course, there are some things that are truly meant to be private, and that is also a good in a different sense. We just need to be careful that we are not including more in that list than what is good for our own hearts and souls. Because we need feedback from others, or we can grow rather “bent” in our own solitary ideas and notions of things. Because we are not perfect or “full grown” yet, sometimes another pair of eyes can help us see the situation better. Another set of ears can help us hear more than we could on our own, and input from the mind of a person who is “other” than us, and outside of our personal “reality” can really help us think more clearly and enter into a larger reality than we experienced previously. GK Chesterton once said,
“It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.”
~ GK Chesterton
So it is incredibly empowering to to learn how to listen to others, and to benefit from their input. Learning to open our lives up to criticism helps us to grow stronger personally, and it brings more information to the table, and brings in checks and balances to our lives, which actually enable us to make better decisions. Our brothers and sisters are put into our lives to be our keepers, to be our support system, and to help us as much as we are here to help them. And we don’t just need the criticism of other people. More importantly, we should be seeking feedback from the Father of our souls, asking him for guidance, and to illuminate our thoughts and decisions.
Father, thank you for being so good, and for being the light in this dark world. We ask that you be our Light – help us choose to be guided by your good light, and not by that which would be called “light,” and looks like “light,” but is not the true light. Those things which are really more like portraits of light, but in actuality are only shadows and darkness. Help us to be your children, and to love the cleansing rays of your light. Please lead and guide us in our lives, in our hearts, in our thoughts and in our actions. Help us learn how to walk in the light, so that our actions may be cleansed, corrected, and guided towards what is good. Help us to grow stronger, to that we may learn to love you and your corrective light, and to love the truth more than we love the comforts of darkness. Give us your strength, and help us to love you, and to love our brothers and sisters. – Amen.
I’m putting my toes in the light, with Bear. The light feels good, and warm. 🌸