1 Thessalonians 5:5-7 You are all children of light, children of the day . . . So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.
When I read a passage, I ask two questions. What does this passage mean? And out of that, What is God telling me? It is impossible to consider Paul’s meaning here, without hearing the voice of my mother, Nothing good happens after midnight. Her words were true as a teenager and have proven to be true in my adult life as well, where I have found that my productivity declines as the evening draws late. I get much more done in the light of day.
I have certainly done evil in the light, but it has been my usual routine to hide my destructive behavior in the dark, whether metaphorical or literal. When I took pills, it was in secret. When I overeat, I much prefer to do it alone where I do not feel the misery and judgement of the light. Darkness is a shield I use to protect my conscience from the prying eyes of God and man. Eyes accustomed to the darkness ache when exposed to the piercing light of God.
As long as I can keep my destructive pursuits a secret, I can maintain the façade of living in the light. Though I appear to walk in the day, I can still harbor what is perhaps the last bastion of darkness, my mind. I may not be obviously pursuing evil, but in the secrecy of my thoughts, I can still indulge in fantasy, anger, resentment, bitterness, hatred and pride.
I may try to claim ignorance or innocence, but I know those thoughts and actions that I wish to hide under cover of night. If I truly want to follow God, I must do whatever it takes to drag those deeds into the day, allowing the light to do its deadly work. If I want to know God, I must follow Him into the light.