walk in the light, close relationship, forgiveness, repentance

[serialposts]Read 1 John 1: 5-10 (ESV, NIV, The Message).

I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus…In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.
~Verse 1 and Chorus from I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light by Kathleen Thomerson

These words come from one of my favorite hymns. As I read this passage, I couldn’t help but sing the words I know so fondly. I have to admit, I was a little surprised that the words came from 1 John. 1 John has always been a tough book for me – like the Gospel of John, it’s a little more obscure than most books in the Bible.

And then I kept reading … and I saw more familiar words:

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

As a young child, I would sit in my seat at church and say these words quietly to myself as the Pastor led the congregation in confession. It wasn’t until later in my teens that I realized these words came from 1 John. Now, these words are second nature to me. I hear them every Sunday. I know after the pastor says them the congregation sits in silence for a few seconds and then continues with the words of the confession.

Although I’ve read 1 John before, I have never thought about the connection between these two passages. Now it seems obvious that they be read together. After all, how can we walk in the light without confessing our sins? It’s not until we take the time to really confess to God that we begin to see just how dark our life has been.

It’s so easy to call ourselves followers of Christ. We go to church once or twice a week. We try to live good lives – reading our Bibles, participating in small groups, caring for those who need it most. But just how often do we actually take the time to confess our sins to God?

I was a little convicted as I read these passages together. I DO want to be a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. I want to stamp out darkness. I strive to live a life that God will be proud of. And yet all too often I forget the important act of confession. Talking to God about the things I’ve done and left undone.

Asking for forgiveness is a powerful thing. We’ve all had our feelings hurt. When that person who has wronged us apologizes, we grow just a little bit closer. Our relationship is strengthened. When they apologize, they show just how important we are to them. And when we forgive, we allow them back into our lives.

I think that’s what this passage is all about. Every single day we do something that separates us from God. Sometimes the sin is big – sometimes it’s small. But to God, sin is sin. There is no big or small … there’s just sin. When we sin, God grieves. Our relationship splinters. We fall, ever so slightly, into darkness.

But when we take the time to confess our sins, we show the importance of our relationship with God. We reach out our hands, asking for forgiveness – praying that our relationship be restored. And God fulfills his promise – he forgives us. We are brought back into the light. The darkness disappears. We begin to feel whole again.

I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus…In him there is no darkness at all. The night and the day are both alike. The Lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

1 john 1:5-10 [walking in the light]

by Crystal Rowe time to read: 3 min
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