The Dark Side
John 3:19,20 The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
Several years ago, the story broke of a celebrity whose angry rant at his family was recorded and subsequently released to the press. The audio, played repeatedly, stood as evidence to his secret dark side as a monster. I remember thinking how horrible it would be if my worst words and deeds were recorded for all to see. I am not defending the things this man said. I just know we all have a dark side and if all the world knew of us was our worst words or deeds, we would all be villains.
Several years later, in one of the many painful consequences of my addiction, my name hit the paper, exposing my dark deeds in agonizing light. The worst thing about me was suddenly on display for all to see. My family suffered through shame and embarrassment as the light revealed my destructive behavior .
Though not everyone’s dark behavior is destructive as mine, we all have something we would rather others not see. It may be pornography, anger, resentment, hateful thoughts, envy, greed or pride. We all have dark thoughts or deeds that we would rather stay in the shadows.
Jesus, in this passage, refers to himself as the light that exposes and eradicates the darkness. The light has come into the world that we may see and love him. All who love the light are to bring our dark deeds to him so that He may reveal and eliminate that destructive behavior.
We resist exposure though, as it is excruciating. It is far easier to continue hiding our thoughts and deeds in the shadows. The light burns our eyes as we are accustomed to the darkness. It is embarrassing and shameful to confront and confess destructive behavior. Our pride tells us that we have the right to continue to follow self. It is our pride that prevents us from doing what it takes to abandon our dark deeds.
Our pride, which may be the darkest of defects, convinces us that we may continue in shadow and have no need for the light. Make no mistake, Jesus insisted that when we hang on to our evil behavior, we are choosing that defect over him. People loved the darkness rather than the light. Everyone who does wicked things hates the light. This is the essence of pride, choosing myself over God, making myself out to be god.
I am not saying that I must confess my destructive behaviors to the local paper, but if I want to deal with darkness, I must drag it into the light. I need to bring it to Christ and I will likely need to confess it to someone. I must abandon my pride and embrace the humility of admitting failure.
We do not do this well. We prefer to put on our best face for church on Sunday. In our pride, we desperately avoid showing others our dark side. It is only in abandoning self and turning to God though, that we embrace the light and expose the darkness.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.