May 1, 2020
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.
On Wednesday we talked about letting our actions speak instead of our words. These next verses continue that theme. Look at the action words in these three short verses. Walk. Live. Fellowship. In contrast, darkness is tied to words. “If we claim to have fellowship . . . we lie and do not live out the truth.”
Words are easy. Actions are hard. Reflect for a moment on the past several weeks. What do your actions say about you? Some of us have more time than we ever wanted. Some of us are under extreme stress. Some of us are suddenly teachers for our kids or stay-at-home moms or dads. Some of us are very isolated. How have you responded to the dramatic change in circumstance? Does it line up with your declared beliefs or resolutions for 2020?
If not, what do your actions demonstrate as your actual beliefs? When what we say or think and what we do are in conflict, that’s called cognitive dissonance. Your brain will try to reconcile those differences, either by changing your actions or changing your beliefs. Dissonance, once observed, can be brought into alignment. A benefit to alignment is that, conscious or not, we experience tremendous amounts of stress when living in cognitive dissonance. As that is resolved, the anxiety dissipates. Do yourself a favor and work to make your actions demonstrate your faith. Be kind (including to yourself). Be patient. Be disciplined. Be generous. Be loving. In doing so, you can walk in the light, even as God is in the light.