The things you say to yourself in the dark are exposing you
“Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” – Luke 12:3 NLT
I’ve read and heard this verse many times in my life. What it used to mean to me was that when we sinned in the dark someone would always find out. It was focused on the shameful thing we were doing behind closed doors or in dark places that we would feel shame if someone else found out. Though I believe it is still a part of what that means for different situations and times, when I read it this time around, it hit different.
Let me take you through my quiet time and thought process.
First, what are the things we say in the dark that we don’t say out loud? About others. About our jobs. Our situations. Our family. Our spouse. Our friends. Ourselves. Do we talk down on what someone else is going through in their life? Are we gossiping about coworkers? Are we saying one thing to a family member to their face and another thing behind their backs? Why does our one friend keeps going back to that guy? Ugh. Why do I keep messing up? I don’t deserve this blessing.
Second, why don’t we say those things out loud? Shame. Embarrassment. Don’t want to be judged. We know it’s an assumption. We are feeling seeds of jealousy. We know it’s not nice.
Third, how do the things we say in the darkness of our minds affect us in our lives?
We think that what we say in the dark is only about what others will think about us if the heard it. What I think ‘shouted from the housetops for all to hear’ also means is that it will display in the way we live our lives, so that indeed, people will actually see what it is we are made of (inside). There’s only so long all of us can hide what’s on the inside of us before it starts spilling over slowly to the way we live our lives.
We’re all guilty. We all say things in the dark corners of our minds that we wouldn’t want others to know. What’s next? How can we do better?
Take inventory with an eye of grace. Taking inventory of different areas of our lives is a necessary step before jumping into what it is we think we need to change. It allows us to recognize, without judging, what is is the landscape of our mind is like. What I’ve done is keep a mini journal with me for half a day and write down the quick thoughts that come to me. Just short simple words and sentences. For example, ‘I can’t do this.’ This is something I realized I said to myself a lot. Keep tabs on those things you think and even say.
Set a plan in motion to do better and just focus on ONE thing. If we could change everything about ourselves at once wouldn’t we do it? Here’s the thing though. When we make too many changes at once, one thing that happens is that, we don’t change anything at all. Some thing I learned while working in the agricultural manufacturing industry is this. When there was an issue with harvesting and a chance needed to be made to the machine, you only changed one thing at a time. You make that one change and then continue harvesting to see if it makes a difference in the output. If it does and you like it, you keep going. If it didn’t, then you make one more change and test that out. Change, evaluate, change OR change, evaluate, repeat. That is the process.
My prayer today for all of us is this:
May we speak only truth over our lives and the lives of others. When we don’t feel like it, may we speak words of honey to each other. When we don’t feel like it, may we speak words of honey to each other. May we whisper the promises God has spoken over us, even when we don’t see it, even when we don’t believe it. Let us not let the work of the dark negative thoughts take over our light. Let us lean into the areas we struggle with, question it and wrestle with it to uncover the hidden yet powerful gem that is inside. Let us not be hurt people hurting others and definitely not hurting ourselves. May we focus on the gold shimmer in all of our lives. he darkness is not the enemy, it’s a learning place. It’s a breeding place. It’s a growing place. May the words that are manifested in the dark reveal the love, power and grace of God in our lives.