If I were to play one of those quick response games and said to you, tell me the opposite of the first word I say. Let's try it!
What is the opposite of love?
What is the opposite of up?
What is the opposite of good?
What is the opposite of light?
Did you say darkness? What if I said that darkness is not the opposite of light at all. In fact, darkness by definition is term to describe the absence of light. No maybe you, like myself, have never thought about this before, but if you really take it in, it can change your perspective on a lot of things.
If I were to ask you what you think of when you think of darkness, what would you say? I think about how many things happen in the darkness that wouldn't in the day time. Darkness is this time where people act out who they really are. But why is that? Why is it that only when the lights are off do we become another almost truer version of ourselves?
It is interesting to me how much we are afraid to really be ourselves. How we fear being exposed or living in the light. What is it that we fear? judgement? to be known?
I know for a lot of people, they have found churches/christians to be the most judging. And I have to say honestly sorry about that. The bible addresses christians who do that and its harsh about it (1 john 2:9). But that is not the point of this post :) What I would like you to think about is the idea that maybe darkness (as a place you feel, a place we find ourselves) is a result of not living in the light of love. In the light of God or in a caring community.
See, when you choose to make who you are in the darkness to become who you are in the light, you have to confront the ways you make bad choices or the ways you are not being true to yourself. As well, you have to confront the question of "am I being the best version of myself". These are some of life's most difficult questions. But ones that may liberate you.
To make a starwars reference, it is when someone 'gives themselves' to the dark side they become evil. It is the unforgivness, the hate, the entitlement and being above the rules. All the these things lead to an emptiness, a lack of good or light in their lives. They become shells of who they are meant to be. They have power, but its corrupted. It is leadership, but without real rewards and enjoyment. Darkness, is empty.
We discussed this as a group and had a few ideas in how to face the darkness head on;
1. Read the bible. Psalm 119:105 - literally God's word can illuminate our path, help us make decisions that better us and lead us to becoming who we truly are.
2. Belong to a community where you can be your true self. 100%. God is relational. God is community. Never think it is ok to just be satisfied walking with Jesus alone. It is not enough. Find a Jesus loving, honest and real community. It does exist.
3. Choose to live in the light. Be transparent. Be honest. Be brave and bold. Live in the knowledge that Jesus loves you no matter what is going on in your life. In fact, he doesn't condemn you. It is time to step out of the darkness and begin to be brave enough to tell the truth, to be bold to be who you are and to love like christ loves us. In doing so, we loose the burdens we carry, the weight of trying to be someone you are not and are better for it.
the story continues...