There’s a scientific theory that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. Like with most theories, there are just as many people who don’t believe in it as those that do, but I’ve always liked this idea. I don’t know about being an “expert” and how long it takes, but I do know that the more I do a thing the better I get at it. I think it’s fair to say that’s the same for most all people. It’s definitely been true for me in Bible study, as I feel much more at ease when digging into God’s word now than I did a year or two ago. I find it much easier to discern meaning, to hear God’s voice, and to find wisdom. The following scripture is one that really didn’t mean much to me when I originally read it a year or so ago.
Luke 11:36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
I distinctly remember reading this a year or so ago and just sort of nodding and thinking “well okay then.” This time though, maybe because of my many hours of practice at Bible study and definitely because of my deeper relationship with God, something in this verse reached out and grabbed me. The phrase “dark corners” really captured my attention, because if you really explore what this verse is saying you realize that the dark corners are hindering fullness and completion. Jesus told us to be the light of the world and I think I can speak for all true believers and say that we want to be the brightest, best lights we can. And this verse tells us what will stop that. If you are filled with light, WITH NO DARK CORNERS, then you’re really gonna shine!
So what’s a dark corner? Technically speaking, it’s an area in your life that the light (Jesus, the word of God, etc.) isn’t touching and affecting. It’s hidden sin, a sinful habit that you’ve held onto even though most of your life is dedicated to serving Jesus. Sometimes it’s a holdover from our life before Christ, but sometimes it can be something new and spiritually destructive that we’ve picked up along the way. I find that a lot of times, people aren’t even aware that they have a dark corner until someone they trust spiritually calls them out on it.
Here’s the thing, God can and does use people with dark corners. If you look at the verse again you’ll notice that it doesn’t say you won’t shine at all if you have dark corners. It says that if you have no dark corners then you will be radiant. Every time I read that word radiant I have this picture of magnificence come into my mind, just the most beautiful light, a light that fights back the darkness in a wide area all around it. Super effective light, soul winning light, darkness killing light. The kind of light we should all hunger to be.
Sin is a reality in our world. We should do our very best to lead sinless lives, but we’re going to fall short. The occasional small slip in the life of a Christian isn’t a “dark corner”. A dark corner is habitual, hidden, intentionally kept out of the light. It is the pornography addiction, the hidden hatred and unforgiveness for a person or persons, the affair (whether physical or just emotional), substance abuse, and so many other things that we conveniently forget to mention when we’re confiding in our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are secret shames, parts of ourselves that we’ve yet to allow Jesus to begin working on. Not only do we do this at the expense of the power of our light, but at the detriment to our overall lives.
Proverbs 28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
Of all the great things you can learn from the life of David in the Bible, to me the thing I love most that I learned from him is how to pray. He was a bold man of prayer, approaching God with emotion and passion and authenticity. And one of the boldest prayers he ever set forth in the Psalms is one we need to get bold enough to make our own if we’re ever going to get serious about being as radiant of a light as God has called us to be. If you’re serious about either ridding yourself of dark corners or just periodically double checking that none exist in your life, the following prayer should be a regular part of your life.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
The world badly needs light right now, as much of it as it can possibly get. It needs believers who are shining full power, without dark corners holding them back and dimming their brightness. Ask God in prayer, ask the trusted spiritual advisors in your life, be bold enough to search yourself for dark corners. You’ll be helping yourself and helping others if you do.
Another week is underway here at the Bible blog. I don’t love waking up early on Monday morning to go to work, but I do love the promise that a new week brings. God is good and He is faithful, and the rewards of dedicating your life to Him are so worth the sacrifices. I love you guys, and I hope you are all doing well today.
If you need prayer for anything or just need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.