Last post, I mentioned that accepting Christ led to freedom from living under the microscope. It offers freedom from trying to live up to other peoples’ expectations. I know that this is not what many have experienced, on the one hand. On the other, this doesn’t exclude Christians from accountability. On the contrary.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians –
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
Ephesians 5:8-13 NIV
The bar on following Christ seems to come with some pretty heavy expectations when we consider what being “children of the light” means. I previously mentioned Christ’s command to love our enemies. If you read through the sermon on the Mount and the Gospels you will find Christ’s teachings tremendously challenging.
There is an interaction between a rich man and Jesus. I’ve mentioned it before, and it is perhaps one of my favorite encounters in the Gospels. The rich man wants to follow, Jesus tells him what is required, and the rich man walks away sad. If the story ended there, it would offer little hope. So often, I am like the rich man. In my zeal, I want to follow God, but when I find out what is required, my knees buckle, my palms sweat, and I ask, “Are you sure?”
I think the disciples knew this feeling. So, when Christ turned away a man who looked like he was doing all the right things and was blessed with riches, they respond, “How is this possible?”
Jesus respond, “With man, it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
There is the hope. In the same way, Paul’s letter reads that it is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret. Sometimes, I am the disobedient child. The point of conviction hits. However, Paul goes on to write, “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”
Our darkness, when confessed and exposed before Christ, can become a light that leads someone else going through the same darkness to Him.