Ephesians 5:8-14 (ESV)
8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
We, as believers, are children of light. We live ‘in’ the world but we are not ‘of’ the world because we belong to Christ. We are not to completely separate ourselves from nonbelievers but we are not to be engaged in sinful behavior with them. If we separate ourselves completely from nonbelievers, who will shine the light of Christ in their lives?
It is not our job to discuss or gossip about the sin of nonbelievers. Instead, Paul uses the imagery of light when exposing sin. “Paul appeals to the effect of light in the natural world. It penetrates wherever it shines, so that everything is lit up by it. In the same way, whenever the light of Christ appears, it shows up sin for what it is.”
The power of the Holy Spirit can convict people of their sin and show Christ’s light on their activity, revealing it for what it is. We are not to become like nonbelievers by taking on their attitudes and actions, rather we are to shine the light of Christ to them. It is hard for us to shine His light into their darkness if we are never around them. Who does God want you to spend some time with so you can shine His light into their situation?
Heavenly Father, help us to live “in” the world but to remember we are not “of” the world. Reveal to us people in our lives who are living in darkness and give us a boldness of faith to shine the light of Christ into their circumstances. Empower us to love them and not judge them. In the name of Jesus, Amen.