Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Over the past few days we’ve been reading how God wants His children to live as the light that we are. We were once darkness, as all people are. But now we are light. Because of this we are not to participate in the works of darkness, which serve no meaningful purpose (are unfruitful).
Rather we are to act as the light [Ephesians 5:8]. When we live this way we expose the works of darkness; we make visible the evilness and pointlessness of those deeds. Darkness hides. Light reveals.
God wants His children to reveal truth to the world around them by the way we live. He does not call on us to tell others of their sin with our words, although that sometimes is called for, because it is shameful to even speak of those things. It is by our lifestyle that we primarily expose the sin of those around us.
When we live according to God’s word people will notice because the things that God tells us to do and the things God tells us not to do are vastly different than the way the world lives.
There is a clear distinction between darkness and light; conditions at midnight are far different than conditions at noon. God wants His children to live like noon in a world that lives like midnight. Sadly, though, many Christians live like they are dusk – a combination of darkness and light. They are afraid of ridicule so they conform to the world to some degree or another. But such a mixed message does nothing to help our friends and family.
God has always used this technique to get people’s attention. When He brought Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land He commanded them to live in such a way as to stand out from their neighbors. He did not want to them to do the same things the nations around them were doing so that they (Israel) would be noticed and would therefore bring attention to God with the goal people being saved.
God calls on His children today to live differently for the very same reason. When we live differently from the world around us we expose their actions for what they are: sin that separates them from God. Therefore our lifestyle is helpful. It helps others recognize their own sin. It helps others come to know that there is a God. And, hopefully, it convinces others that God is a forgiving, loving, father who wants to be with them forever.
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