April 8, 2017

John 3:20-21 “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

This reads like a commentary on current events! It feels like saying “honest politician” is an oxymoron, but recently bureaucrats have been in very much the same category. The world does not like honesty and frankness, for precisely the reason Jesus gives here. They work at putting up false fronts to cover up what they are doing behind the scenes, forgetting that nothing is hidden from God. (Hebrews 4:13) However, we have to be careful here. Saying “they” implies that we are always innocent, and that’s not the case. It is easy to point fingers at major offenders, but we are prone to doing things “in secret” ourselves. We become adept at fooling ourselves, sometimes even more than at fooling others. It is well known that the first step in dealing with addiction is acknowledging you have a problem. The thing is, God is always ready to help and to forgive, if we will make the choice to be honest and repent. That’s why the Bible talks so much about confessing sins. 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 are both well known, for excellent reason. Light is a marvelous disinfectant! The Catholic church has formalized confession, but that can both make it less accessible and trivialize it. Our focus needs to be on Jesus Himself, rather than on “designated representatives,” because He is the Light. (John 8:12 and many more)

With my focus on honesty and openness, that doesn’t mean that secrets aren’t sometimes appropriate. Last month I had the privilege of officiating at a surprise “wedding” for a couple on their 50th anniversary. They had never had a ceremony, and their children and grandchildren planned it for them in great secrecy. That was delightful for all involved! Honesty and openness also doesn’t mean we are to spill all we know all the time. On the one hand that can hurt people needlessly, and on the other hand it can be downright boring! I have created problems for myself and others in this area. As John said, I need to walk in the light as He is in the light, both for the sake of fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ and for personal purity. (1 John 1:7) I am to be a carrier of the light in every situation, but never with a holier-than-thou attitude. That will turn my light to darkness! I am to rejoice in God’s grace to me, and extend that grace to all around me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I do get disgusted reading the news at times. Keep me from letting that blind me to my own weaknesses. May I rejoice to walk in Your light at all times in all ways, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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