Frightened or Empowered by the Dark

lamp-639489_1920-2I remember lying in bed around fifteen years ago, and darkness consumed me. I felt a void being consumed by evil, by conviction, by a choice that I needed to change some things in my life. I was a decently good person, but I had made some choices that didn’t honor God, and in the process, I found myself exposed and overwhelmed. Not many knew, but I did.

I chose to wake up to and live in the light. I wanted to grow. I wanted to rid my life of weeds so the good stuff could grow. Actually, I wanted to let God guide that process. It was a hard time in my life, but it grew into one of the most rewarding. Just as I had gotten to that place with one choice after another, I got out one choice at a time. The difference was the focus of my choices: one trail of choices led me away from God; the second trail led me straight into his presence and peace.

God gave me a choice: I responded.

That seemed like an obvious one, but I’ve been in the crashing waves of someone else’s choices this year. There is a huge difference between a prompting from God’s Spirit and a temptation from Satan. We think the difference is so huge that surely we will always be able to tell the difference, but it’s not always as clear cut as we think. In fact, the end result, what others see and what we put forward, might look very similar. But the process differs. What happens inside of us differs. Our options and motivations matter.

Why do we choose what we choose?

Why do we do what we do?

If we see it as a good thing, is it always a good thing?

No.

We can do a good thing for the wrong reasons. We can rationalize just about anything as good, whether we justify them for our own good or someone else’s.

Whether we make a decision in the light or in the dark is paramount.

Decisions made without the light of day and the light of life send horrible ripple effects through our lives and others’ no matter how much we choose to believe otherwise.

There’s a difference between being intimidated and frightened by the dark and being empowered by it.

Choosing to acknowledge we’re in the dark and stepping into light is humbling and hard. I highly recommend it. When you live in the light, a lot more of yourself gets exposed, but it’s a good thing. Growth will never end. You will still be faced with many choices, and they won’t always be easy, but you will more readily be able to tell the good from the bad and, perhaps even more often, tell the best from the good.

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