This week we’ve been talking about our dark side and why we don’t need to fear or reject it. Yesterday we talked about bringing our dark side to God. Today, we look how doing this is the key to being able to fulfill our call to be the light of the world.
We Christians have a real problem dealing with the sin and darkness of the world. Quite often we cast loving and standing up for truth in the face of sin as opposing calls which we must somehow learn to balance. We struggle to remain in relationship with people who are engaged in behaviors we see as sinful. We strive to “speak the truth in love” only to end up alienating those we purport to love.
One of the things that happens when we bring our own darkness to God is we get to see how love actually deals with darkness. We see that love doesn’t condemn. We see that love calls out what is good. We see that love recognizes and illuminates the fear and hurt which lay beneath the sin and nastiness. And we see that love’s first impulse is to deal with the fear and hurt rather than confronting the sin.
It’s like Jesus said: “seek first the Kingdom and all these things will be added unto you.” When we seek what is good, when we seek to dispel fear and heal hurt, the rest follows. Condemnation and confrontation rarely work because they bring the power of darkness to bear on the problem. And darkness is not where power is found. Light is.
So when we go out into the world after allowing God to illuminate our own darkness, we have some idea of how to do the same for others. We know that when we see sin and darkness, our job is not to find the right balance between loving and speaking truth. Our job is to shine light on the darkness.
So instead of cursing the dark, we seek out the good power that’s buried in the dark and illuminate it. Instead of seeing sin and hostility as an affront or being repulsed by it, we recognize the fear and brokeness which is driving it. And instead of confronting or condemning the sin and darkness, we simply set to work on the fear and hurt. We seek to relieve fear. We offer solutions to the problems people face. We offer empathy and compassion for the hurt. We do what we can to lighten their load.
And over and over we seek, we see, we affirm and speak the truth of the good which God has planted deep in the heart of each of us. We water those seeds with the water Jesus offers – life, love, compassion, forgiveness. And we shine the light of Christ over them so that one day, should the seeds buried in the darkness begin to sprout, they will seek after the light as well.
Don’t believe me? Think I’m being naive? Then test it. Bring your darkness to God. See what happens. Then go and do likewise for those around you.