Turn On the Light

by | Oct 29, 2010 | Purpose & Identity

This Month’s Bible Study  |  Read John 8:31-47

Why we don’t need to hide in the dark from our mistakes



A little boy was playing in his father’s garage one sunny afternoon. It was a place of treasures and wonders for the youngster, who loved the tools, the workbench and watching his father work. He knew he wasn’t supposed to play in the garage unless his father was there too, but his dad wouldn’t be home for hours, and he wasn’t going to hurt anything anyway. 

His father’s latest project was a wooden model of a sailing ship. Dozens of small parts and hours of labor had gone into it so far. It was going to be a beautiful ship. 

As the boy explored the wondrous world, something on the shelf over the workbench caught his eye. He had to know what it was. He climbed onto the bench and stretched to reach the item. Holding on to the shelf to steady himself, he suddenly felt it give way. Everything on it crashed onto the yet-to-be-completed model, smashing many of its delicate parts. 

The boy jumped down, horrified at what he had done and thinking how mad his father was going to be. He decided the best thing to do was to cover the ship with a piece of canvas and push it to the back of the workbench. Maybe his dad wouldn’t notice—or maybe he’d forget about the project. 

The boy ran into the house, worried about being found out. His mom offered him an afternoon snack of milk and cookies, but he couldn’t think about anything else except what would happen if he were discovered.

John 8:31-47 gives the answer to the boy’s problem. Verse 31 tells us what to do when faced with our wrongdoing. Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” The passage goes on to say, “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.’”

It is our human nature to try to hide in darkness, to think that if we cover up our sins no one will know. But God always knows our deeds and our hearts. By hiding our sins, we actually make ourselves slaves to them. 

God tells us in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV). 

If the boy had just called his father and confessed his disobedience he wouldn’t have spent the entire afternoon worried about the consequences. There probably were consequences—there are in real life as well—but they are never as bad as we imagine they’ll be. 

A note about this passage in the Fire Bible: Global Study Edition says: “Yet there is only one truth that will set people free from sin, destruction and Satan’s power. That truth is Jesus Himself.”

What are you hiding? What is inhibiting you and holding you back from real freedom? Are you a slave to things in your life that you wish you were free from? 

Then the answer is clear: Confess your sins to the Father, let the light of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross shine on your life, and let Him wash away the guilt. Let the peace of the Holy Spirit come and comfort you. Know true freedom from the bondage of slavery!

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