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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.”—Ephesians 4:18 (HCSB)
While I am a regular user of Facebook, it can be frustrating that certain aspects of it are complete lies. Of course, I know social media sites are a “highlight reel” of sorts, as many before me have noted. I don’t expect anyone to air the worst parts of their life on a public platform. However, when a person’s page reflects the exact opposite of their reality, I find it confusing. For instance, I know of several men that have virtually deserted their families. Yet according to their Facebook posts, they are #blessed and continue to share Scripture. My mind cannot wrap itself around this phenomenon . . . except for Ephesians 4:18.
They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of willful ignorance and hard hearts.
John Piper says that the “result of darkness is a deep ignorance of reality,” and I could not agree more. He goes on to explain, “Darkened human beings without the light of God’s grace are totally ignorant of the true meaning of every fact of the universe. To know the meaning of a fact or an event is to know why it happened, to what end, and to what purpose. The meaning of all facts is that they exist for the glory of Christ.”
While it is easy for me to point the finger at the inconsistencies in the lives of others, it is always important to examine my own life to see where I fall short. The truth is we are all self-deceived. There are certain sins in each of our lives of which we may only be slightly aware. However, if we continually harden our hearts to the severity of these sins, we too will find ourselves completely divorced from reality. When accused by a co-worker or spouse or friend, most of us respond with, “Yes, but . . .” as we slowly justify our sin by either minimizing our own offense or maximizing the offense of another.
Don’t toy with sin, even the sin you can’t see. Instead of recoiling at the insight and rebukes of others, seek it out in hopes of rooting it out. Ask trusted friends, family members, spiritual mentors, and most importantly, the Holy Spirit to show you the sin blind spots. That way, you can heed the words of Hebrews 12 and throw off anything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
DIG: Read the rest of Ephesians 4 to see the steps we can take to walk in truth.
DISCOVER: Share this with a trusted friend, and ask them to consider speaking truth into your life about something you may be overlooking.
DISPLAY: Pray for those whose hearts are hardened that they may see the light and walk in truth.