And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.
Growing up my family usually had evening devotions every night before bed. That is, I remember them being every night, but it was probably not that disciplined. My dad would read from a family devotional book and then we would discuss the lesson and pray together as a family.
When it came to prayer time (which I remember was the part that took the longest), I distinctly remember several different things we prayed for. We usually prayed for dad’s job, prayed for sicknesses and injuries that we knew about, and I remember a stretch when we prayed for one of the college kids my dad discipled at church because he just wasn’t sure what he wanted to major in.
But there’s one request I remember that stood out above all the rest. Someone very close to my father was struggling with drug addiction. As a little kid, my parents didn’t tell me exactly what the issue was; they just told me he had a problem that was splitting his family apart, ruining his job and threatening his health. One Sunday after church, my family was visiting with this man’s family, and seven-year-old me wanted to check in and see how things were going with his problem. So, I asked him… in front of his wife, children and, of course, my family. Turns out I learned pretty quickly that people don’t like conversations that start with, “So, how’s it going with your problem? You know, the one that’s tearing your family apart?”
I’m not usually someone who hides what I’m thinking very well. If I don’t come right out and say it, you can usually just read it right off of my facial expression—but I still usually come right out and say it. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always highly valued honesty.
But not everyone does. Some people really don’t like being open and transparent about their struggles and their insecurities. And you know what, I don’t blame them. I’ve certainly experience that before, despite what is usual for me. However, in discipleship relationships, honesty is one of the most important qualities you can have.
When we keep issues in the dark, they’re permitted to fester and metastasize. Things are almost never made better because we wait longer to talk expose them to the truth.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that 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. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:5-10
Sin, fear and doubt all thrive in the darkness and it is the exposure to the light that is the Achilles heel, the death knell for all of these things. The truth is, honesty is often uncomfortable because it puts us in a position where we have to admit our faults and our failures. Note that in this passage “those who walk in the light” is not synonymous with “those who never fail.” People don’t walk in the light because they’re perfect. Instead, walking in the light perfects you as Christ cleanses you from all sin.