Darkness. If you want it, you can find it just about anywhere–in movies, music, books, TV shows. In the news, in your friend’s gossip, or online. Our society appears to love it, because it is promoted more and more.
One of the most disturbing things about darkness is that it is enticing. You know it’s wrong, but you still want to read it. Watch it. Hear about it. Find out how it ends. Knowing that it’s dark and twisted doesn’t stop you from wanting to know more about it. But be careful, Christian. Darkness is dangerous. You may begin delving into it innocently, but it will quickly take you down its evil path.
Some of you know what I’m talking about, but others may wonder. Darkness? Is that the same thing as sin? Why is she being so dramatic?
It’s not my intention to frighten or over-dramatize but to warn. If you have the Holy Spirit within you, He alerts you to darkness when you encounter it. And we should pay attention to His warnings.
Our culture glorifies darkness in many ways. Horror movies. Teenage fiction that focuses on themes like betrayal, murder, sex, and other types of violence. TV shows about serial killers. Violent video games. The twisted themes of many of these media have become so common that we don’t even recognize them as twisted anymore.
Does it bother you to watch a movie where people are slashed and mutilated? To play a video game where you maim and murder others? To read a book where characters sleep together and use language that makes you blush? To watch a show where the characters seduce and betray one another with ease?
These things should bother you. They are not normal. They are not healthy for you mentally or spiritually. And they are not pleasing to God.
You may think I’m making a big deal out of a small thing, but consider these reasons for making an effort to avoid darkness.
1) We belong to God’s family now. And God doesn’t do darkness.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12)
When we became daughters of God, we entered light. That’s where God wants us to stay.
2) We aren’t supposed to participate in it. We are supposed to be figuring out what pleases God, not what pleases us. You may enjoy lurid stories or mature-themed shows/books, but God’s Word says that we should expose darkness, not take part in it.
“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.” (Ephesians 5:6-12)
3) We aren’t supposed to dwell on it. The things that you think about a lot affect you, and it’s no different with dark things. For example, research has shown that people who watch a lot of shows about crime think their chances of being a victim are much higher than they actually are. They are affected by what they fill their mind with.
The same is true with you and what you watch/read/listen to. If you fill your mind with darkness, eventually you begin to assume that it’s normal. Even if you don’t approve of it, you begin to accept its place in the world.
Darkness will be in the world until Christ returns, but we do not have to dwell on it. Paul says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
4) Loving darkness often reveals your heart’s true condition.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19)
Would you give up shows, books or music with dark themes in order to please God? If not, you may be clinging to darkness instead of light. After all, the verses above reminded us that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. What do you love most?
Satan wants to use darkness to twist your mind and corrupt your pursuit of holiness. Darkness isn’t just a popular cultural theme; it’s a tool of the enemy. Learn to recognize it and don’t be fooled by the deceiver. God’s way, the way of light, is the one you need to pursue.