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Avoiding The Darkness



Seeking the Light was a recent article about the golden jellyfish found in a marine lake located on Eil Malk Island in Palau.  The golden jellyfish literally spends the day seeking the light provided by the sun as it races across the sky.  Pursuit of light is not without peril.   Jellyfish must avoid the shaded lakeshore areas where the anemones, their primary predators, live.  In this case, the old adage “the best defense is a good offense “appears to find application.  Avoiding the darkness is the most logical course of action for the golden jellyfish to seek the light.  This basic wisdom found in nature is just as true for us as Christians.

The anemones that live in the dark places of the lake do not show mercy to the golden jellyfish that stray from the light.  The punishment is swift and sure.  The end result is death.  We should avoid the darkness in this world with the same perspective.  Deliberately placing ourselves into situations where we will face temptation is just like the golden jellyfish venturing off into the dark areas of the lake.

One of the duties assigned to Paul by Jesus was to go to the people ‘to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Acts 26:18).  As followers of Christ, we are to turn away from the darkness if we want forgiveness of sins.  Without turning away from the darkness, we cannot be sanctified.  We cannot have the hope of salvation.

John writes plainly about our fellowship with Christ and darkness.  John says ‘If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.’ (1 John 1:6)  Clearly from this passage, our relationship as a Christian with Christ is dependent on avoiding darkness.  It seems that too often, Christians let things and people lead them to the dark areas.  We must ‘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. (Ephesians 5:11)


What things do you choose to spend time with? 

Everything we do should be evaluated to see if it has a positive or a negative influence in our lives.  The world of entertainment is not interested in who goes to heaven.  Lyrics to songs are usually chosen to be sexually provocative and often contain suggestions that are inappropriate for Christians.  The words to these songs can take hold in our hearts to lead us to the dark areas. 

Movies and TV shows explore controversial subjects to try to make them more socially acceptable.  If we are not careful, we will be swayed to believe that social drinking, drug use, and homosexuality are suitable lifestyle choices. 

‘Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things’ (Philippians 4:8)


Who do you choose to spend time with? 

People that we bring into our lives have a great deal of influence over us.  Most individuals make decisions based on the responses of friends.  If a friend approves, then we are more likely to do an activity.  Our associations in life have a huge impact on whether we are trying to avoid darkness or to pursue it.  We must evaluate our friendships and try to cultivate positive role models in our lives.  This is true for any age.

There is nothing wrong with having associations that aren’t Christians.  We must live in the world, but we must not be part of it.  Often people will understand and respect another’s beliefs.  An explanation of why certain activities are uncomfortable or inappropriate gives way to finding alternatives.  True companions that value friendship will take beliefs into consideration.  If, however, our companions are unwilling to accept us as a Christian, then the relationship must be reevaluated.  We cannot allow friendships to frequently lead us into situations where we are tempted to sin.  ‘For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.’ (1Peter 4:3-5)

It does not make sense to deliberately place ourselves into situations where we will face temptation to sin.   By moving closer and closer to the line, we make it easier to take that one eventual step across the line that ends in disaster.


Are you avoiding the darkness?

4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8)

The day is coming like a thief in the night, where the Lord will return victorious for those who are awake.  Avoiding the darkness is not a passive thought for a Christian, but a constant active course correction for our daily lives.  We must equip ourselves for success by avoiding the darkness and seeking the light.


Bryan Tacker