Light exposes evil

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

Ephesians 5:8-13

I have pretty smart kids. I’m not talking book smarts (although they have that too) but I’m talking about flat out common sense. Good old fashioned street smarts.

Last week my almost ten year old went to a bible study. Apparently they discussed hypocrisy because as she walked through the door she greeted me with “hey mom. I know what a hypocrite is.” Intrigued I asked her to tell me. She informed me that a hypocrite is someone who “says one thing and does another.”

From there she gave me a list of adults she knows that she would consider hypocrites. As I listened I was amazed. I stopped her several times to ask her why she named some that she had. What she recounted was truthful about their actions of hypocrisy. Some on her list were people I had respected at one time. To see through the eyes of a child was quite eye opening. She was right.

She began giving me examples of people who had said one thing but their actions spoke a totally different story. It was incredible to see her mind process current events with past statements.

Kid are much smarter than we give them credit. Last night I was shopping with my boys and came across two different families we used to go to church with. The actions from both families was complete hypocrisy. I didn’t say a word but instead walked away. The two oldest boys began a conversation about how fake people who claim to be Christians can be. It made me so incredibly sad. We as adults don’t always think about our actions and just what our children are witnessing by our behavior.

Once home I listened as the boys shared with their sister what had happened. She immediately piped up and said “that is being a hypocrite. That’s what we talked about at church.”

I know there are many out there who feel pity for my kids. Those who think their lives have been destroyed. This posting is for you. My God is stronger. My God is bigger. My God uses ALL things for His good. These kids are experiencing God in a mighty way! My kids are seeing people for what they truly are, sinners in need of God’s grace. My kids are learning true forgiveness and love.

God has a plan. He has a way that is perfect. For the first time in my life I have the freedom to live the life God has for me. I now have the ability to be the mom and woman He called me to be and life is amazing! Instead of being sad, find joy that my children are now closer to walking in truth than ever before.

I read this as part of my quiet time this morning. My faith gets shaky at times but as long as I’m listening to His voice above the noise, His truth strengthens me. Such powerful truth this morning.

Day 16: Marriage and Family

If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel– 1 Timothy 5:8

We live in an age of self-justification. We can excuse or explain almost any personal behavior or habit or shortcoming, making a case for our own innocence. But Paul here cuts through all our layers of self-defense and plainly states our obligation.

If you, husbands and fathers, are not carefully laboring to provide the food, shelter, and clothing that are needed by your family—to the best of your ability—then you are not a Christian, no matter how much you may protest to the contrary.

In fact, Paul says, you have denied the faith of Christ by your actions; therefore, you are worse than an unbeliever, because you are bringing reproach on the name of Christ. You cannot claim an allegiance to Christ, on the one hand, and selfishly or carelessly deny the help to your family that Christ demands of you.

These words may sound strong or harsh, but in reality they are helpful and loving. We might be tempted to deceive ourselves on this issue, if it were not so plainly worded for us. Our families might suffer because of our thoughtless neglect, except that Paul has forced us to consider them.

If you have failed in this regard, do not give up; it is never too late to repeal your denial of the faith, to throw off your unbelief, and to show your commitment to Christ by laboring for the welfare of your family.