Watchman Reflections

Sometimes the Light Hurts

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. This is why it is said: 
“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:11-17 NIV

Reflecting on what it means to stand up for truth lately, these verses come to mind. It’s common practice for Christians to quote Matthew 7:5 when faced with topics that are touchy, topics that come across as judging others. This frustrates me, and here’s why:

As Christians, we are not called to accept sin and avoid offending. The Bible is clear that matters of darkness need to be exposed.

And if we are the light of the world, ones with Jesus shining in and through us, then we need to truly illuminate the eclipse cast over our world because of sin. In doing so, sometimes the radiance hurts!

Have you ever been woken from a deep sleep by someone turning on the light in the bedroom? Or stepped outside from a dark building into the noonday sun? Think about the agony of those moments…

So it is with light coming into contact with the deep, death-like sleep of darkness. It stings. It throbs. But does that make it wrong? No!

Dear Friends,

Now is the time to wake up from our own deep sleeps:

  • No more choosing acceptance to avoid confrontation and thereby nullifying real love for our neighbors.
  • No more indulging our own sinful desires and thereby dulling our senses to the darkness around us.

Paul reminds us to be careful how we live – not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity. That means active engagement, lights gleaming brightly for all to see.

It is utter foolishness to lower our standards, dim our lights, to conform to the evil around us. The topic of Jesus’s story Matthew 7:5 does not give sin free reign. It highlighted the need we all have to be freed from sin by Jesus alone. He dealt with the adulterous woman’s sin, and then told her to “Go and sin no more.”

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

He didn’t walk out His earthly mission in fear of offending, and He didn’t give sin a free pass. On the contrary, He exposed it, commanded us to repent of it, and ultimately died to free us from it, so that we can live victoriously in and through Him.

The enemy is prowling like a lion (1 Peter 5:8).

God’s will is that none would perish, and yet we are permitting the pursuit of evil which leads to death by not standing against it.

Wake up! Rise up! Shine! The glory of the Lord shines upon you…

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