This morning’s blog will be a little different. It is Saturday morning and my wife and I usually have a long discussion during the early hours of the day. I usually get up around 6am, she will join me in the family room around 7am, and we talk. We talk about family, current events, and other things. I remember one discussion we were having a few years back, not a Saturday morning talk, but in the car as we were driving to downtown Portland, OR. We were discussing gun control and she made a comment about machine guns and Jacuzzis. Being the good husband I am I immediately began thinking about mobsters sitting in hot tubs holding tommy guns. My wife noticed I wasn’t listening anymore and she got a little angry. However, once I told her what she said, we came to the conclusion that she meant a machine gun and Uzi.
I love my wife, and at times I have no idea what she will say, but usually she will inspire some interesting thought that I will spend hours thinking about. Today was no exception. Today we spent a bit of time talking about the world around us. Anyone who knows us knows we are between the ages of 40 and 64. This aligns with Erik Erikson’s seventh stage of pyscho-social development. According to Erikson the crisis experienced at this stage involves generativity vs. stagnation. The existential question involves whether our life counts or not. Thus we talked a bit about whether we are handling this crisis appropriately with our kids and the world we can influence.
The largest part of our conversation involved goodness and evil in the world. Having walked in this world for a bit, I wonder if life is more evil or less evil than previous years? I don’t know if that is the case or if we see more evil due to better news reporting. However, as my wife said this morning, the fact that we live within a dark world has not changed.
1 John 1:5 says that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” In Luke 1:78 the world saw a great light in Jesus Christ. In John 8:12 Jesus describes Himself as the light of the world, and anyone who believes in Him would not walk in darkness. However, this is contrasted to those in this world who chose to love darkness rather than light, because their work is evil. And as John 3:19-20 states everyone who practices evil hates the light and does not come to the light.
Regardless if one believes our current society is more or less evil than previous generations, the fact is there is just as much a need for light now as when Jesus came to this world. Therefore, those of us who have come to the light are required to walk in the light, and be light reflectors.
The question that I kept thinking about this morning is how do we do that? How do we become light reflectors? First, we need to recognize we are not the light. Jesus is the light, and in order to reflect that light we need to be close to Him. Second, if we are going to be good reflectors, then we need to mirror Him. This means we need to live like Him. What does this mean? Galatians 5:22 tells us what His characteristics are: Love, joy, peace, forebearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we are light reflectors then these characteristics should be evident.
We could ask ourselves another question, what does darkness look like? Galatians call these the work of the flesh. These works are: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
There are those who would say that the works of darkness are much more fun. However, in each of these actions selfishness is central. However, with the acts of the light, selflessness is central. So what does the world need? Does it need more selfish people who are living only for themselves and what they deserve, or does is need people who walk in the light of love doing good for others?
I think it is the latter. I think we have enough hatred around us. We have ISIS, killing people in the name of religion, and we have Christian fundamentalists who focus on hatred and judgment, instead of love and forgiveness. Neither of these religious expressions are light reflectors. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in hell, and I believe in salvation through Jesus Christ alone, but I don’t believe in spreading a gospel of hate.
So I for one intend to be a light reflector. I am going to attempt to draw close to the light, so that when people see me, they will see the reflection of one who can make a difference in their life. The One who they need to know!
And that is my thought for the day!