Rise and Shine! (on the Dark Side)
By Terrie C
This is Part Two of two on the subject of shining God’s Light on that piece of ourselves that can be hard to acknowledge: Our darker self. Essentially made of pride, and all too often easy to evoke, if we don’t take a look at this side of ourselves, we will be bound to live in defeat. Today’s post stands alone; but if the idea of taking stock of your own darker elements is new to you, part one is a more detailed explanation of the concept.
When I stopped blaming the evil that has touched my life through the years on that ole devil and started absorbing the concept of free will, I understood that God is the Author of both Light and Darkness. We were created with the capacity to exercise either. That choice is our free will. Since there is no one in this world who is under our authority except us, we need to take that evil inclination that lives right in us and understand the role it plays in the bigger picture, which we call our life. Pretending it doesn’t exist won’t help. Thinking some sort of a savior tore it out of us won’t help. Understanding it and acknowledging it before our Creator and ourselves will. Doing so is part of the maturation process as seek to draw nearer and nearer to the One who told us to chose life. He has set both before us, and given us the authority of free will to make our choice. These dark pieces of us aren’t exempt from God’s Light, and can even be useful to us in self-discovery, self-discipline and self-motivation! Before we start wielding a flashlight into this less than pleasant arena, though, it is imperative that we have a secure connection to the source of all Light, YHVH. We secure this connection through repentance, prayer, obedience and careful Scripture study. Then we are ready to Rise and Shine on our own Dark Side!
Here are some things we can do to expose our “dark side” to God’s Light:
- Get honest with God, and with ourselves.
He already knows anyway, it is we who need self-awareness. We cannot improve in an area we won’t admit needs improvement and we cannot confront that in ourselves which we deny.
2) Seek insight about our inclinations.
Some of our darker inclinations have an origin in our past. When we can understand a quality about ourselves, be it good or bad, we are in a position to take authority over it, and bend it to serve our will.
3) Seek God’s help.
Even with much understanding and discipline, our darker half will remain. Without it, free will would be gone, too. We can ask God to strengthen our resolve in the areas we feel weak. He is faithful to uphold us when we recognize that He is the source of all our wisdom, understanding and strength.
4) Practice self-discipline.
A great way to pull a dark inclination into light is work against it purposefully. If we tend to be greedy, the remedy is giving. If we tend to be lazy, we can set a schedule and follow it. If we tend to be jealous, we can retrain our eyes to focus on being grateful for what we have. The list goes on and on, and I’m sure you could add to it, but self-discipline is key.
5) Understand that this part of us is tricky and ever-changing.
Just when it seems like we’ve conquered a dark tendency, be sure it will show up again in disguise. Because we will never eliminate this part of us, our self-discipline must be ever-changing, too. Take heart, though! When we are disciplined in recognizing and acknowledging our own darker elements, it gets easier to see through their disguises, and to call them into the light of God’s truth!
I’m so glad you popped in today, and I’ll “see” you again soon! If you have found an area that seems difficult to “Rise and Shine” upon, I would love to hear about it! Your thoughts and comments are always welcomed. Who knows? It just may be the next post title!