This post is part of a series in which I explore the concept of vulnerability and its place in God’s design. Last time, I attempted to define it in my own words. Then I turned to Google for a more objective definition. Finally, I asked, “why? Why vulnerability?”
I speculated that one reason for God’s redeemed children to practise vulnerability is that such is what it means to live in the light.
Keep in mind that these were my thoughts before I took them to the Bible. As with all my ideas, this needs to be tested by God’s Word. And that’s where I would like to start today.
As I began to explore the concepts of light, darkness, and vulnerability, three passages came to my mind. As my study unfolded, God lead me to numerous other relevant passages, but these three will act as my “case studies” – and yours, too, should you choose to join me:
Case #1 – The 1-John Passage:
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice 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 cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
-1 John 1:5-10
Case #2 – The Ephesians Passage:
Therefore, do not associate not associate with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 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. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Case #3 – The John Passage (not to be confused with the 1-John Passage):
And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God.”
Hopefully, whether you read these passages slowly and carefully or speed-read through them, you understood this:
light is associated with “good” and darkness with “bad”.
Even to the person who has never read these passages, this may seem intuitive. But why? Why this assumption?
In the 1-John- and Ephesians-passage, we see a theme of walking in the light/darkness. The former says, “…walk in the darkness…” and “…walk in the light…”, and the latter says, “Walk as children of light…”
In these passages, to walk in light means to live a moral life. Conversely, to walk in the darkness signifies immorality.
Again, we ask “why?”. Why is light morality and darkness immorality?
The Ephesians passage says of “the unfruitful works of darkness” (immorality) that we are to “expose them”. How can we expose anything that is “of darkness”? The same passage answers this question: “when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible.”
The John passage reinforces this idea when it says that “people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil”.
Darkness is a cover; something under which we can conceal our shameful deeds and hide in our sin. Light, on the other hand, pierces that cover and lays bare our deeds.
Light, darkness, and vulnerability
Hence, the light makes us vulnerable. It exposes us to the possibility of being judged or harmed. It exposes the ugly, condemning parts of our lives that we want to hide.
So let me leave you with some questions until next time
- How can something as condemning as light and vulnerability be good?
- What is this light? Can it be defined or described in more concrete terms?
- Do you prefer the protective cover of darkness or the vulnerability of light?