Walk In the Light
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7
I will often meet those who’ve destroyed their life with methamphetamines but who are now trying to recover. It’s not uncommon to hear something like this from them – If I just avoid meth and use only pot for the rest of my life, I’ll be fine. It may be true that if they stuck to marijuana instead of methamphetamine, that they’d encounter less self-destruction, but they’re still using a mind-altering substance, which eventually opens the door to returning to meth. While using pot, they’re not living in authentic recovery. They’re just reinforcing the idea that life is better with chemicals – that they simply can’t live without them. Then, one day when they need meth, they’ll return to meth.
It didn’t involve methamphetamines, but I’ve been there. For me, my opioid pills and tobacco use went hand in hand. When I first tried to quit using pills, there was a tremendous void in my life. I told myself that if I used only tobacco, that it would fill the emptiness and be less harmful than opioids. Of course, if I’d have stuck to that, it may have been less harmful. For me though, using one chemical eventually led back to opioid use. I’m not picking on those who use tobacco, I’m simply saying that for me, tolerating one addiction meant I wasn’t living in recovery and made it inevitable that I was going to return to my pills.
This is what it seems John’s words are telling me in today’s passage. In it, he said that God is light – there is no darkness in him. When I try to walk in that light, but willfully continue to allow darkness into my life, that makes it impossible to continue my fellowship with God, walking with him in the light. Darkness and light simply cannot coexist. When I choose to allow the darkness in, I choose to avoid the light. Walking in the light means daily abandoning the darkness.
Does this mean I must be perfect to experience the light? No. I’ll not be made perfect in this life. I will always have some struggles and I will always have some failures. Walking in the light though, means that I’m not daily and willfully embracing darkness. Walking in the light rather, means daily abandoning my darkness for God’s light.