Darkness and Light

This post will be a bit dark and personal. I’ve been writing this post on and off for a couple months now. I’ve debated whether to actually post it, but honestly I don’t know what else to write. This is what’s been on my mind lately.

I’ve been in a dark place lately. I go in and out of depression on a regular basis, and lately it’s been pretty bad. When I’m in a mindset like this, I become very reflective. I think of where I used to be, which was a really dark place mentally, and where I am now. I am in such a different place from where I used to be; I am such a difference person from who I was. However, I still get into some pretty dark places. I’m in one of those currently.

About a year ago, I was memorizing some bible verses with one of my best friends. I remember when I originally started to memorize these verses I felt so convicted and highly uncomfortable. To this day, I still do.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word had no place in our lives. 1 John 1:5-10

These verses bring so much to mind for me. They are both convicting and uplifting. They’re very hopeful to me, but a little uncomfortable to read because of the bluntness. I don’t know about any of you, but when I begin to think about the contrast of the light and darkness here, my mind goes on a little tangent. Light and darkness. Heaven and hell. Angels and demons. Good and evil. Happiness and depression.

About three years ago I was diagnosed with depression, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. I don’t try to think of myself as someone with depression or anxiety because if I think about it I get consumed by it. It’s still there, though, and I’m often very bitter about it. I think of depression and anxiety as personality traits of mine because, to me, they are. I forget that I can fight them, and they really get in the way of me living my life in a way that represents my faith.

In a few months I get the opportunity to study God’s word at a university that I’ve wanted to attend for a little while now. I want to do mission work, and I’m excited for it to help prepare me to do so. When filling out some paperwork, though, it asked about issues that might interfere with what I want to do. I felt compelled to put down my depression and anxiety, because if I didn’t it would have felt like a lie. I almost never put down that I have depression or anxiety on forms, even if it asks, because I feel so ashamed about it.

I have had a very lucky life. I have a great family and live in a nice house. I have the best friends in the world. I have way more clothes, shoes, books, music, etc. than I need. If I want something, I tend to get it. I’m ridiculously spoiled, and looking at my life I don’t really have a reason to be unhappy. I feel like such an ungrateful person because I’m like this. I don’t feel like I am allowed to be sad or anxious. It sickens me that I am so lucky yet still feel this way.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15

This is one of my favorite verses, because I often feel like a pretty terrible person for feeling depressed or anxious. There is so much more that I could do with my life that I do not do. I don’t share the gospel as I should because I have a fear of talking to people. I don’t make the grades I should because I spend most of my day avoiding my life. It sometimes seems so meaningless to do everyday tasks, but I know those every day things add up to something so much bigger.

There was a post I read somewhere where someone said something to the effect of “God forgive me for not always reading my bible like it’s vital.” That has stuck with me, because it’s so true yet so neglected. I know I neglect to read my bible on a regular basis, and that’s something that I really need to work on.

I am such a sinner and I deserve so much condemnation. Because of Jesus, though, I am saved. Jesus came to save sinners. Jesus came to save everyone. Jesus came to save me.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

There’s so much darkness inside of me. There’s so much sin, sadness, and shame. It’s crazy to me that a perfect God sees me with all of my sin and all of my darkness and still loves me. He sees His people constantly choosing things of this world over Him, and He still loves each one of us and would welcome any one of his children back home in a second, like the prodigal son. God is so perfect. God is light.

If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 1 John 1:6

This is the verse that really gets to me and condemns me. I know the difference between right and wrong, and I still sometimes choose to do wrong. I get so tempted by the darkness. It’s so intriguing to me. Even though I know that I am already a rather pessimistic person I read depressing books, watch depressing movies, and listen to depressing songs. It’s almost like I try to perpetuate the darkness in my life. I have a human inclination towards sin. I’m so much happier in the “light”, but I’m so intrigued by the “dark”.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

I see the difference it makes when I’m focused on God. I am infinitely happier. A problem is that I don’t normally live very openly. It’s easily to fall back into darkness when I’m not open about it. No matter what, I should live openly and honestly. I should walk in the light.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

I know that I am sinful. When I was in elementary school this used to be such a difficult concept for me to grasp. I was a good kid and I knew it. I was also stubborn and never saw where I was wrong. One time in Sunday school, my teacher asked all of us to write down a sin we had committed that week. I genuinely could not think of anything, and told that to my teacher. She gave me a look that said “Seriously, you’re not perfect.” But I really didn’t understand. I knew that I wasn’t perfect in theory, but in actuality it was so hard for me to see that. I remember making something up so that I had something to write down.

Now, I’m overwhelmingly aware of my sins. In worldly views, I’m a pretty good person. In actuality, I’m no better than anyone else. I’m deeply ashamed and I like to hang onto that shame for some reason, instead of just letting it go and handing it over to God. I don’t like to let other people know my mistakes either, and that goes directly against what this verse is saying. Anyone that knows me even slightly knows that I hate to be wrong. When I’m wrong I just pretend that nothing even happened. Again, this is not living openly, which I really need to try to do. I’m not perfect and I don’t want to pretend to be.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Through Jesus Christ, we are made righteous. That is so wonderful. Each one of us are deserving of nothing but death, but Christ died for us. I mean, that fact never gets less amazing. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness and we are forgiven.

If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word had no place in our lives. 1 John 1:10

This verse is so blunt. If we claim to be perfect, then a huge part of Christian doctrine is a lie. None of us are perfect and none of us can be perfect. Through Christ, who was perfect, we are made perfect. I don’t want to be someone who goes through life ok with my faults. I want to constantly strive to be like Christ. I don’t want to ignore my faults or be content with them, I want to face them and fight them.

because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. Colossians 1:22 

Because of Jesus, I am whole. I don’t want to take that for granted or dwell on negativity. I don’t want to continue to be so content with living like I’ve been. I want to live much more openly so that I can properly show what God has done and continues to do in my life.

 

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