// on living as children of Light. //

It begins as nothing more than a simple observation, as my family and I are wandering the crowded streets of Hollywood Studios at Disney World in the evening; I’m watching all the kids (and a few teenagers, ahem) running around with light sabers they’d bought at one of the several Star Wars-themed gift shops scattered around the park.

Most of the light sabers are red.

I promise you I’m not going on a tangent about Star Wars again on here ( ;-))– but pretty much everyone knows that the red light sabers mean the Sith. The Dark Side. The evil ones.

And then there’s the scores of little boys (and teenagers, again) proudly wearing their Kylo Ren t-shirts.

…And then, the little boy who makes friends with Matt in line for the Toy Story ride, whom I overhear saying, “Kylo Ren’s the best. I like the Dark Side best.”

There’s a little pinprick of discomfort in my heart at seeing all these little kids practically idolizing Kylo Ren and Darth Vader and such– and consequently, what they stand for. The darkness. Terrorizing people. Ruling by their own laws, hang the consequences. No value for life, for light.

But I brush it off, rationalizing that these are little boys and they just think the characters are cool and yes, it’s a shame that people value a character’s abilities and powers more than the strength of their hearts and minds, but they’re just kids, Em. It’s not like they like the darkness, it’s not like they really get what the Sith actually are. Right?

But still, the question lingers– Why are these parents encouraging this?

Because sure, they’re kids and it’s all harmless– or at least, it is right now, from our only-human vantage point. At this point, though, it’s just an observation and a silent question, and I haven’t worked through my thoughts on it, and I’m at Disney which isn’t exactly the place to ponder deep spiritual matters (unfortunately), so I don’t bring it up. It doesn’t seem prevalent enough to talk about. Not yet.

A few days later, I am home and meeting up with a dear friend, and we’re talking over life and creative projects. I’m told something that bothers me deeply, sinks into my stomach like a stone, and stays there for the rest of the afternoon. After we part ways, I spend the drive home talking (ranting, ahem) aloud, half to myself, half to the Lord, because my mind seriously can’t handle what I’ve been told.

At that point, I know I need to say something; my heart just might explode if I don’t. So, here I am, finally ready to speak up.

I’m not going to share what it was that I was told, but I do want to share my thoughts that spring from it, because I feel that it’s something that Christians need to be reminded of, especially in today’s culture.

Guys– we shouldn’t be glorifying darkness. And we certainly shouldn’t be sending messages in anything we do– from our daily lives to our creative projects– that contradict the message of the Gospel.

I mean, really. If you really call yourself a follower of Christ, and you’re all in, and you believe the Bible is true, then why on earth isn’t that the message you’re sending people?

I can understand it when the lost prefer the darkness over light, when they think it’s cooler and more interesting. I don’t think that way myself, and I do wish that people didn’t think that way in general (since when are the good guys too boring, too childish?), but I can see where they’re coming from. I get it. They don’t know any better; they don’t have a reason to turn away from the darkness. Why should they, when they haven’t found the Light?

So no, I don’t hold the lost to that standard. But you and I? We know that we have a higher calling, because we have found the Light, and we do believe the Gospel– that Christ has come to set us free in His grace, and that Goodness will absolutely win in the end.

Why on earth would we completely disrespect all that Christ has done for us by continuing to glorify the darkness?

Ephesians 5:8 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”

Live as children of light, not continue to live in the darkness.

Because once you’ve been set free, why would you return to what enslaved you? And why would you preach that slavery is cool and interesting, especially when you have so many opportunities to share that freedom you have with others?

And also– we talk all the time about how the things we’re watching, reading, and listening to impact the purity of our hearts and minds. But as much as what we put into us impacts our purity– what we send out reflects it. The way we live, the words we speak, the things we create, they all reveal what is inside our hearts and thoughts.

With that in mind, we as Christians need to be diligent about praying over the messages that we’re sending out, especially in our creative projects.

Because people are reading those stories and looking at those photos and listening to that music that you’re sharing with the world, and if the message you’re sharing undermines the Gospel you claim to believe in?

Girl, you’ve got to stop that now.

Because you’ll lead people astray with preaching the wrong messages. You’ll lead yourself astray. 1 Corinthians 8:9 says, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” Don’t allow yourself to be a stumbling block to other believers who aren’t yet grounded in their faith. That’s just wrong.

Yes, you should absolutely be creative, and it’s wonderful that you’re sharing your gifts with the world. There are so many platforms out there for the artists and dreamers of the world to share what they think and feel, by doing what they love to do. But please, from a believer to a fellow believer, hear me out– really think and pray about what you want to say when you share your gifts. Make sure that whatever it is you’re creating glorifies Christ, the light, and not the darkness.

1 John 1 says it best: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out 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, purifies us from all sin.”

Guys, we have the Light living inside our hearts. Let’s stop conforming to this broken world’s view of light and darkness. You want people to see the difference in you, the way Christ has transformed you into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)? Keep the messages you share consistent with the life you lead, and the Truth you believe in.

We’re called to live as children of Light. Let Him shine in all that you do. It might be hard sometimes, going against what the world says is normal and harmless and good, but in the end, we know it will be so worth it.

Because the Truth is that Light always, always triumphs over the dark.

{love always, Em}

(Oh, and Disney was AMAZING, by the way. Just going to put that out there. :))

2 Replies to “// on living as children of Light. //”

  1. “Because once you’ve been set free, why would you return to what enslaved you?”
    EM. I absolutely love this. So much yes, so beautifully written. This is so important.

    Liked by 1 person

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