When I take the students in our youth ministry to the gym for a game, sometimes the lights are off. While I make my way to find the light switches, I get a big smile as I listen to them fumble around in the dark, play jokes on each other, and wait for the lights to come on. These lights are fluorescent based and take a good five minutes to come fully alive. During those five minutes, there is probably a lot of anguish for anyone who is self-conscious about their complexion. Everyone’s pimples are tinged purple and their lips are bright, almost like they put on an awful shade of lipstick. For me, during that short amount of time, it’s people watching at its best. Some of us laugh at the situation and some try to avoid looking at others. It puts us all into a bad light (no pun intended). Everyone’s blemishes and faults are on display, even the ones we didn’t know were there.
Light is a theme that’s all over Scripture. From the birth of creation to Jesus proclaiming to be the light of the world to The Church being called to be a light in the darkness, the theme saturates Scripture. Out of the many ways light is explored throughout the Bible, Paul applies it to how the light of Christ exposes the darkness in our hearts. When the light of Christ shines on us, we wake up to how the darkness is not good for us. After becoming born again, we walk in the light and it produces goodness.
It is good news to be in the light! The light of Jesus shines in such a way that all of our faults, regrets, sinful choices, and stubborn attitudes become exposed for what they are. In Christ, we see that we have blemished character and a sinful nature. But also, in Christ we can see who God has created us to be, beyond those blemishes. Jesus redeems us and the light sets us free to see us for who we are intended to be.
Don’t let your self-worth keep you from basking in the light of Christ. Our sin does not stop the light from enveloping us or keep Jesus from loving us.
Warts and all.