Scripture: 1 John 1:
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Observation: Walking in the light means we open ourselves up, we reveal our flaws and turn them over to God as we strive to better ourselves.
Application: I’ve always loved the night time, the cool night air, the stars, the moon, they are so beautiful to me. I’m more of a night time person when it comes right down to it, but there is a difference in physical darkness and the kind that John talks about here. John is talking about spiritual light and darkness. To walk in the light that John speaks of means we make ourselves vulnerable, we expose our weaknesses and we don’t hide them from the world. God knows our flaws and He knows every sin that we harbor away, if we walk in the truth of His light we may show the world our imperfections, but at the same time we show how God is able to forgive and move us from the place we are to where He wants us to be.
I am afraid that as a body of believers, we the church, have created an environment where many of us walk in spiritual darkness because we fear what may happen when we expose ourselves to the light. We are in a constant battle against sin, but not so much the sin within ourselves as the sin we find in others. We have become judgmental and harsh to each other, unforgiving when we find fault and quick to remove those who have been found lacking from our presence.
Do you know anyone who has been removed from fellowship against their will because some part of their life became known to the faith community? Or maybe you’ve known someone who when some dark thing became exposed to the light were so ostracized by those around them that they left on their own? When that happens we are not being a people of forgiveness and faith, but rather we are being a people of judgment and pride.
Oh I’m sure there are plenty of good reasons we could come up with to justify our actions and explain why we need to rid ourselves of certain people, but the bottom line is this. We are all sinners! If you think you know someone who is not a sinner, or even someone who once was but has now come to a place where they are living their life without sin, I say “You don’t know them that well.” Even those who have lived a long life of service and are in their winter years are still flawed individuals who have not reached a place of perfection yet. I don’t think we find that place until we stand with God in His pure light that exposes every corner of our soul. And it’s only when every shadow has been chased away and every dark spot removed that we can truly say we are Walking In Light.
In the journals I write every day I am more exposed, and more open than just about any other arena of my life. If you read them regularly you know me better than most people. But I admit that there are still places of shadow that I dare not shine light on, because I fear judgment, not the judgment of God because I KNOW that He is quick to forgive, but rather the judgment I fear and that I know many others fear is that of fellow Christians.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all Walk In Light and love each other despite our imperfections? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could create a faith community that truly embraced each other and supported one another in spiritual growth? Is it possible to make the Church a place of safe sanctuary where we can all worship God as we allow Him to mold us into new creatures? Yes – I think it’s possible, I hope that it is, I pray that it is so. But we will not be able to do that until we allow ourselves to truly Walk in Light without trying to destroy each other when we find those flaws that will no doubt be exposed. It is a change we need to make, we are a long way from being there now, but if we do it, it will be a change toward God, a change for the better, a change for love and acceptance, forgiveness and compassion, mercy and grace, that’s the kind of change we need to have in our churches, and in our families, in or nation and our world.
Prayer: God of Light,
Thank you for your love and grace. Thank you that even though you know every corner and shadowy place of my soul, you still love me. You still send your comfort and strength in spite of my imperfections which are many. Grant me forgiveness and allow me to become more and more like you so that I may have compassion for all and malice toward none. Place your light within my soul and help me to radiate it to the world through love and compassion, and through forgiveness and understanding.