For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Luke 8:17
I would like to say that I’m squeaky clean, never told a lie, never lusted after a woman, and never did anything that broke God’s commandments. But I would be breaking another commandment by lying. The Bible says there’s nothing hidden that will not be disclosed or concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. So, It is so much better to be truthful now than to wake up to a painful reality on Judgement Day or when the bottom falls out.
The last article I wrote " Why Are People Offended by Everything" relates to this point of exposing our darkness because it takes a spiritually mature person to recognize they have a dark side, and with the help of God overcome it with the provisions God has provided. Because no matter how religious a person may appear they are not beyond breaking God's commandments and letting the seven deadly sins ( pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth) run amuck in their life. Moses was compulsive and didn't enter the promised land because his anger got the best of him. Jonah was passive-aggressive and ran from God because he didn't like what God told him to do.
In my studies at Grand Canyon University, I’m reading a book called “Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership” and it’s a part of the Master’s Degree Program in Christian Leadership. The book points out the fact that every person born of Adam and Eve has a self-destructive nature and is subject to do evil. It’s so easy to point fingers at other people and say, “You need to change!” but how often do we truly take a look in the mirror and say, we’ve got issues?
So in this article, I will discuss the Dark side and what we need to do so it doesn't rule us. Jesus gives us the power to overcome our Darkside, but as long as we are living on earth our Darkside can spring up just like weeds in the garden. It's our job to not let those weeds rule the garden of our mind though.
#1 Recognize Your Dark Side
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8 NIV)
When people don’t realize they have a dark side they fall prey to it, because it’s like trying to build an airplane without considering gravity or the laws of aerodynamics. One must consider reality; Jesus didn’t deny that his death on the cross would be brutal. Jesus was human and tempted by the dark side – yet did not sin. Jesus had to prepare for what was before him with the power that our Heavenly Father provided. It’s only when things are placed in proper perspective can they be properly dealt with. But if one continues to act as though there is no problem, then no solution will be given. As the Scriptures say, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10). This is the whole point of repenting and recognizing our sin-sick state before God. When we recognize that there is a deficiency, then we're able to go from there, but if we deny we have issues then we can never rise above them.
#2 We Need Righteous People in Our Life
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ( James 5:15, NIV)
Without my faith community, I’m prone to go off the rails. Surrounding ourselves with people who will tell us the truth, and pray for us is important. It’s not enough just to recognize our sin, but to confess it and get healing. I realize that I don’t have all the answers, and God gives me people to give me answers.
By taking the test in the book Overcoming The Dark-side of Leadership I realized my dark side is passive-aggressive (7), compulsive (6.5) paranoid (6), codependent (6) narcissistic (6). According to this test, there’s a lot of things that can cause me to fail as a leader. If I don’t have proper support, and guidance I will fail miserably. The Bible says, “ Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” There are some people who think, “ Shouldn't God just guide you and tell you what to do?” Yes, he does, but God often uses human agents just as he used Ananias to pray for Paul and receive his sight and calling to spread the gospel to the gentiles. When can never downplay the human agents God uses to help us bring light to our dark side. I pray this revelation will cause people to give God the glory, and never idolize me as a leader.
It’s also had me to realize that as a Christ-centered community we all really need each other. We can’t do the good we’re called to do on our own. Jesus had disciples, Jesus had parents, and what was accomplished in Salvation was a collaboration between humanity and God. God uses human agents to accomplish his will. It’s not that we take the place of God or degrade miracles, but we need to recognize that life itself is a miracle, and God uses his pre-existing miracles to do new miracles. Therefore, we who are reading this right now are the miracles God uses to bring forth even more miracles. Yes, you are the miracle that God has ordained to bring forth life on earth, don’t discount yourself.
#3 Come to the Light
“ Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:21, NIV)
To redeem the dark side, we must admit that it exists, and not treat ourselves as inferior because of it. God already knows you have it, and still loves you. Jesus did not come for those who think they have it all together, he came for the sick (Luke 5:31). Until a people is honest with themselves about what is going on, they will remain in darkness like the Pharisees who claimed they could see, but were spiritually blind (John 9:40-41). Because they did not recognize their sin, and recognize Jesus, they died in their sins. Everything in the dark will come to the light (Luke 8:17). So instead of acting perfect, and letting people idolize us, we need to be real and let God redeem us.
Real solutions come from exposing real darkness. We shouldn't let our dark side run wild, but just like cutting the weeds, we need to keep our fallen nature in check. Those who fail to recognize their fallen nature will fail prey to it, but those who take heed will maintain a life of prosperity. It’s time to stop acting as if we have no issues, and take into account the evil that lurks inside our own hearts. As Christ-followers we are called to live in the light so we stop tripping in the darkness. We are all family, and no one is better than the other. If we are truly humble and take a sober judgment of ourselves then healing will occur.
God your call is irrevocable, and even though I am weak you are strong. I trust you to give me what I need, and I trust that even though I have shortcomings I know that you don't. I thank you for Jesus who bridges the gap, and I ask that you bring good people into my life so I find healing. Amen
Michael aka “Malan Jones” is a worship leader, writer, artist, and producer born in Georgia but now resides in Tucson where he creates music and videos that proclaim the gospel. He has a B.A. in Film and Media Arts from the University of Tampa and an M.A. in Christian Leadership from Grand Canyon University.