I Don’t Want or Need Your Light
. . . The Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles. Acts 26:23
Daily, I pray for those whom I know to still be struggling with addiction. Some of those I pray for seem like they’ve always been on my list and won’t ever find recovery. It’s frustrating to watch someone continue down a road of self-destruction with no apparent interest in sobriety. Talking to them about faith and recovery feels like a dead end. They just aren’t interested, as they believe they’re fine where they are.
As maddening as it is to watch, I’ve been on the other side. While I was using, I had zero interest in going to AA or hearing about anyone else’s recovery. I didn’t need or want help. I was fine on my own. In retrospect, I was stumbling around in the dark, in desperate need of the light. Honestly though, the light hurt so badly that I had no interest in it. I’ll make my own way, thank-you very much.
In today’s passage, Paul was being questioned before King Agrippa about why the Jews wanted him put to death. Paul gave his defense and in doing so, said that Christ came to proclaim the light to the world. Knowing full well that most of his audience was hostile to his faith, Paul still told them of the light found only in Christ.
Throughout his career, when Paul preached, many believed but more didn’t. Many even violently objected to his light. They didn’t want it, they didn’t need it, and they hated Paul for preaching about it. They didn’t believe they were blind and they didn’t see their need. Paul didn’t let this lack of response keep him from being obedient though. He knew that in every crowd, there may be one or two souls who were sick of walking in darkness. So, he obediently preached of the light, leaving the results up to God.
We too, must continue to tell others of the light of faith and recovery. Not everyone is going to thank us for it. Most won’t want or need it. When they reject the message, that’s fine. We don’t have to take it personally. We must simply be obedient to daily live in the light ourselves and to tell others how God brought us out of the darkness. Then, we must leave the results up to God.