(The following is the April 9 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read John 3 and pay close attention to verses 19-21.)
In 2010 Time published an article about a research study that appeared in Psychological Science. Researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of North Carolina conducted experiments to gauge the impact of darkness on honesty and cheating. In each experiment, the results were consistent: people cheated more often when in dimly lit rooms or wearing sunglasses than in brighter rooms or wearing clear lenses. The Time article introduces the research results: “There has always been a correlation between how ethically we behave and how brightly our surroundings are lit – most evil deeds are done under cover of darkness, and the rarest and most brazen crimes are those committed in broad daylight – not least because we’re less likely to be caught in the act after nightfall.” *
This inclination should come as no surprise to us. Jesus said, “The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God” (vv. 19-21).
Christ calls his children to be light in a dark world, reflecting Jesus, the light of the world. We can’t be light and live in darkness, committing sins we try to hide from others. If we know Christ, we should be unashamed and glad to serve him in daylight and dark so that all may see his glory reflected in us.
Research crime statistics in your area. Is there a pattern of more crimes occurring during darkness rather than daylight? Reflect on your recent behavior. Were there times when you tried to hide sinful acts from others? Bring them to light by confessing them to God and, if applicable, to others impacted. God already knows about them. He is waiting for you to confess them.
* Jeffrey Kluger, “Why Shady Deeds Are More Likely to Happen in the Dark,” Time, March 3, 2010, http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1969242,00.html.