Ephesians 5:11-14 - 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.”
Years ago, Emily and I were newly married and we stayed with one of my relatives when my band was on a national tour. This family member didn’t necessarily keep their house as clean as we were used to. That night, as we shared a twin bed in one of the kids’ vacated bedrooms, I got up to go to the toilet. Before I closed the door when I returned to the room, the light from the bathroom shone on the bedroom wall to reveal several cockroaches scattering! They had been there all along, but the room was too dark for them to have been seen. It took the light to expose the truth.
As people, we can tend to live like roaches: running around in secret, until the light of Christ exposes our lifestyle for what it truly is. In this passage, Paul continues to contrast the lifestyle of a “beloved child of God” (or Christian, Eph. 5:1) with the lifestyle of a “son of disobedience” (or non-Christian, Eph. 5:6). The question is, which are you? The child of God is called not only to “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness” (v.11), but also to shine the light of Christ on sinful behavior (v.13) so that its true nature can be revealed, and people can be “awoken” to the reality of true life that is found only in Christ (v.14)!
As God’s children we have this great privilege to be light-shiners, but it only works if we see others as people (not see them as problems), approach them with love and humility (not with controlling self-righteousness), and ultimately shine the light on ourselves first.
• Is there an area of your life where you’ve fallen “asleep” (v.14) and need Christ to shine on you? Have you any self-righteous sense of superiority towards any “sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6) in your life?
• How could you lovingly walk with someone caught in darkness?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for awakening you to reality with the light of Christ.