John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
We live in a day and age where the world celebrates beauty. We all intrinsically long to see the beauty and worth of who we are. But what does that look like in our world?
Most often, it is about being optimistic – we try to see ourselves not as half empty but as half full. We look at the beautiful things about ourselves, and we try to magnify those things.
However, this means that we tend to sweep the ugly things about us under the rug. We have become people who can only really embrace what is beautiful.
That’s the problem with our culture today. Anything that is ugly we try to forget about or cover-up, or we try to make it beautiful as quickly as we can.
This, however, doesn’t change the fact that there is still ugliness and mess and brokenness inside each one of us.
And the world’s way of dealing with this doesn’t work.
What we need is to bring things into the light – to look at both the beauty and the mess. We need to step into the truth of who we really are, for when we do, the truth will set us free (John 8:31-32).
Allow me to tell you a story about my car. Last year, my dad and I bought a second-hand car. Although the car was old, the price was great, the condition was great, and the mileage was great. We bought it without thinking twice. We were living the half-full life!
However, what we failed to do was to take it for a thorough inspection. We didn’t look under the hood. We didn’t put it under the light. And because we didn’t do this, we didn’t see what was really going on inside of it to properly assess its value.
Needless to say, our car began to break down and fall apart within the span of one year. We just got rid of it.
This is the problem of us living a half-full life of optimism – only seeing the beauty and not recognising the brokenness and ugliness. If we do this, down the road, there really might be a price to pay.
If we do not deal with the insecurities, fears, worries, and mess inside each of us, they will end up surfacing later on in the future. The insecurities around purpose that we don’t deal with in our secondary school years will come up when we start our first job. The insecurities around money that we don’t deal with when we’re in our first jobs will surface when we start to have a family.
But, how do we deal with all of these things? Just like my car, we need to undergo a thorough inspection. If we do not inspect ourselves, there will be recurring problems coming up.
We need to put ourselves under the light. But not just any light…
The Light of the world!
Jesus says in today’s passage that He is the Light of the world, and whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness. We need to put everything through a light which is most pure; a light that is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and a light which has no darkness.
Dear friend, we cannot put ourselves under any other light. Not the light of our cultural standards of beauty, or under our family’s standards of success, or even under our own standards of worth. If we do this on cup half-full days, we’ll feel great. But on half-empty days, we’ll feel awful.
What we need is to invite the Lord to inspect our lives fully. We need to ask Him to look deep within us, and to tell us who we are. We need to go to His Word and to see what the Truth says about us. Then, and only then, will we learn to be truly comfortable in our own skin.
Today’s devotion was contributed by Community + and adapted. You can watch the sermon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1dhVPuiRuo
Do you feel like you only present what is beautiful or successful or worthy about you to the world – or even to God? If you do, why do you find it difficult to reveal the mess? Journal with God today about the reasons why. Ask Him to inspect your heart and to show you who you are to Him.
- It feels too vulnerable to show people/God my mess and flaws.
- I’m scared of being rejected by people/God.
- I feel too messy to be loved by anyone.
Lord Jesus, I recognise that so much of my life is spent trying to hide away the mess of who I am. I don’t want people to see it, and sometimes I don’t want You to see it. It’s so much easier for me to succumb to what the world does and to sweep it all under the rug or to make myself as beautiful as I can as quickly as possible.
But, this is not what You want for me. You don’t want me to hide in the darkness or to hastily deal with my issues. Instead, You long for me to bring all things into the light – into Your Light.
So, here I am, Lord. Search me and know me. Sift through me. Give me a thorough inspection. Find the mess in me, Lord, and make me beautiful in Your time.
I pray that, as I go to Your Word to find out what You say about me, that it will begin to change me and to make me feel comfortable in my own skin.
In Your mighty name, Jesus, amen.
Pray for this world. Pray for the way it considers beauty. Pray for mindsets to change and for the whole person to be embraced, not just the beautiful parts.