Be a Light in the Darkness

womanandlightAs an Embrace Grace leader, can I just say that I’ve heard some STORIES. Stories that make your eyebrows raise and your eyes widen. Stuff that is XXX content. Stories of real life stuff that no person should ever have to go through. Some of the life stuff is from not-so-good decisions made by them that spiraled out of control or some of them were victims of another human’s sins. All I want to do is cry for them, give them the biggest hug ever and tell them it’s going to be okay. My shock isn’t from judgment … it’s just shocking stories. Some of them will break your heart into so many pieces. Stuff that you can’t believe is real. When I hear these stories from the sweet EG girls, I realize 2 things.

1. Most of them have never had Godly or moral values taught to them, so them sharing their stuff, to them, is very normal. They don’t know any better. Their hearts are pure, they just have never had anyone take the time to show them what living a life that God wants for us that protects our hearts looks like.  A free life. How could you ever be mad or upset at them when they don’t even understand?

2. How awesome that they know I love Jesus with all my heart, but yet they feel comfortable around me, or our other EG leaders, that they know we will not judge them or shame them. They feel free to talk about their life in a church setting or even outside, and already just know that I’m just going to love them, encourage them and point them to the One that fixes it all. One of my favorite quotes from an Embrace Grace alumni:

“They would tell me how beautiful I looked or ask me questions about the baby and how I was. To me, that was crazy. I had obviously done some not good things, and all they saw was me – not my sin, but me. I wanted to be at church every minute because of the positive environment.”

What if the whole world focused on people, and not the sin and loved regardless. His kindness leads us to repentance. If we are showing the kindness of Jesus, people change.  Hearts soften. Walls start coming down. I’ve seen it happen.

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? {Romans 2:4}

When Jesus came to earth, He didn’t start pointing out people’s sin to everyone. He loved them and people were changed by His love. He told the woman at the well, “Go and sin no more.” He didn’t try to explain how it was so wrong what she was doing or shame her. She felt His love.

What if the whole world stopped focusing so much on sin, and exerted that same energy on reaching out and loving people? Be a light in your world and Love BIG!!

What if the church had support groups for every kind of sin? Not to support the sin, just to support the people? What if the church had divorce support groups, cheaters support groups, porn-addiction support groups, stripper support groups, gay support groups, sex outside of marriage support groups, drug-user support groups and over-eaters support groups (I need to join that one) and there could be tons more! All of these sins are not limited to the non-Christian, but in your own church as well. If we could reach out to the community and provide support to people lost in their own sin, be kind and love on them and let God’s love change their hearts.

It’s not about focusing on the sins, it’s just about loving on people that don’t feel welcome in church because of the sin they struggle with. I have a sweet friend that was prostituting, and felt so ashamed to walk in the doors of church. When she finally raised her head high and walked in, she felt at home, she felt like she was with a family. No one judged her, just loved her. She quit and is in school and has a great job now.

What stays in the darkness, Satan has more control. But when you bring darkness into the light, that’s when God can work on our hearts.

Would a person reach out to YOU for help regarding a sin and feel comfortable sharing their heart and struggles? It’s so much easier going through difficult times when we have friends and accountability partners to help us through it.  And if you are struggling, reach out to a friend or a church for help. It’s so much easier when you bring into the light your struggles.

Written by Amy Ford

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