I like the light. I associate walking in the darkness with stepping on Legos with my bare feet and ramming my shin into the end table.
The disciple John writes in 1 John 1 about walking in the darkness and walking in the light. And, in context, walking in the light is not merely doing right things. Walking in the light is walking in the reality of the exposure of our sins. John says, “if we say we do not have sin, we are liars.” (And the last time I checked, lying was still in the category of sin).
Humanity has a long history of walking in darkness. We need to go all the way back to the garden of Eden to see the first attempt of humanity to hide in the shadows to avoid the exposure of their sins. Adam and Eve ate from the only tree prohibited by God. And the next time he came to visit, Adam tried to hide himself from God. He was walking in the darkness . . . Trying to avoid exposure by the light of The Holy One.
The difference between walking in the darkness and walking in the light is NOT primarily one of behavior. John is clear that we all sin. The difference between walking in the light and walking in the darkness is one of living a life in knowing exposure to God. We walk in the darkness when we try to cover up and bury our sins. We walk in the darkness when we attempt to look like we have no sin. We walk in the darkness when we don’t believe in sin. Everyone who has ever erased their Internet history, everyone who has ever tried to hide their location, everyone who has broken something of their parents’ and tried to hide the damage or quick glue it back together knows the severe angst and fear associated with the darkness.
Our natural tendency is to hide in the face of our sin. To hide from others and to run from God. Walking in the darkness paralyzes relationships and destroys hope and peace.
But John offers another way to live: walking in the light. Walking in the light doesn’t begin with moral perfection. It begins at the surprising place of humble confession. It requires faith to believe that we might allow our lives to be fully exposed to a Holy and Righteous God and that he would forgive us and cleanse us, but that is exactly what John says will happen. If we confess our sins and expose them to His light through faith in Jesus Christ, He will forgive us, cleanse us, and set us free!
And walking in the light is so much better than flitting from shadow to shadow fearing exposure and hoping we don’t get caught. There is a huge cosmic irony in that the one we have a tendency to run from and try to hide from is the very one who holds the keys to our release and freedom. And the only difference between walking in the light and walking in darkness is trust that God is good and that He has made a way for forgiveness and cleansing to be ours. And that way is through the blood of His Son Jesus.
If you are weary of running in the shadows, come to the light! Come to the truth! Come to Jesus! Walking in the darkness is hard work. And salvation looks like stepping out of the shadows into the spotlight of his gracious gaze, and finding that the one you have been fearing is ready to welcome you as His own child!