As a young child I remember being petrified of being caught alone in the dark. It was pure terror to be surrounded by darkness. I thought there were surely monsters or bad guys waiting to jump out and hurt me the minute all the lights went out. My heart would start pounding and my eyes would open wider, trying to catch a glimpse of movement or danger.
In those moments I wanted light more than anything. I would run barreling toward it and look out if you got in my way because I would take you out on my desperate dash for the glow of safety. On occasion when there was a blackout at night, I would hold my flashlight close to me and try to make the light as big as possible. Additionally, I would light candles and just stay in the small area of light they illuminated.
One thing that never worked however was trying to stay in the dark and just let my eyes adjust. In some cases my eyes would begin to make out shadows and outlines of objects, but the darker the space, the less I could see. It was always better (and safer) to find the light.
There is a darkness that still makes my hair stand on end today. It is the darkness that is in this world. It comes in the form of hate speech and derogatory comments on various platforms. It comes in the form of perverse actions and nauseating self-truths people have formed for themselves because when people make truth separate from scripture there isn’t a clear line of good and evil.
Darkness veiled in well intentioned words is still darkness. Just because we can see shadows of good doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still recognize it for what it is…dark. If I respond with angry words and actions, then I am simply conforming to the darkness. If I jump on the bandwagon in my anger at the darkness, I’m just more darkness pouring in, I’m just a tool being used by the enemy.
Instead, we need to flee the darkness. We need to see poison and untruths for what they are. If the Lord hasn’t given us a voice of reason and compassion to be the candle or the flashlight beam, then we need to flee. We don’t need to assault our minds with things that are not of God. If He calls us to speak light into that dark, then we must do it with a righteous anger that is woven with love. The Lord lives in us, His Holy Spirit, in order to guide us and keep us from bondage.
As light, we don’t get to pick and choose when to shine and when to act like those living in darkness. There are others in that darkness too that are looking for the light. The Lord will guide them to righteous words and actions based on our example.
We are not meant to live in or tolerate darkness. We are also not meant to seek revenge. Instead, we are to be a force of righteousness, seeking to shine light into that darkness and speak truth, but we must know the truth to speak it. Let’s get in God’s word today and pray. We must seek Him before we respond and make a mark on this world that will strive to heal and spread light instead of destroy it.
“And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. ”
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”