The song “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down begins this way:
There’s another world inside of me
That you may never see
There’re secrets in this life
That I can’t hide
Somewhere in this darkness
There’s a light that I can’t find
Maybe it’s too far away…
Or maybe I’m just blind…
What struck me about this lyric is the comparison with light and darkness. The Bible uses this same image in describing the light of the Gospel (Gospel means “good news”) shining in the darkness of the world. In Matthew 4:16 it says, “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”
There are two problems identified which cause someone to not see the light. The first is blindness: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). This is the starting point for all of humanity. We are all born in spiritual darkness. God shines the light of his love into that darkness and we have to choose our response to it. The difference between believers and unbelievers is that believers choose to respond to the light of the Gospel.
The second problem is willful blindness: “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Some choose to reject Jesus Christ and remain in darkness. Often this rejection is in reaction to the behavior of some who claim to follow Jesus. I empathize with this reaction and would like to offer a response.
Even though believers have responded to the Light, Scripture teaches us that until death or rapture some of the darkness remains in us and we say and do things that are wrong. True believers do not think themselves better than unbelievers. Even the Apostle Paul, the writer of much of the New Testament, struggled with this. He writes, “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Romans 7:19).
The only difference is that believers have accepted the love and grace of Jesus Christ. If we are changed, it is a result of that love and grace changing us; we can claim no credit. While our motives may be improved sometimes our results are not. Some of the cruelest things ever said to me were said by believers. That is the icky truth.
My point is that believers still hurt people, say stupid things, struggle with addictions, act in selfishness and generally struggle with the same stuff the rest of humanity struggles with. This does not make the Gospel less true.
The fact that we are changed at all is testimony to the power of the Gospel.
If you are an unbeliever, I would ask you to consider Jesus based on what He said and did. He is the truth and the light. We believers are sometimes good reflectors and sometimes poor reflectors of his light. Please do not reject Christ because of our poor reflection of him.
I can tell you that life with Jesus, in spite of our failures, is good. Paul follows his lament about his own struggles with this statement, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
No condemnation, peace, forgiveness. Life is good (not perfect) in the light. Please join us. The Light wants to be found and is always available.