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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Out of Darkness into Light – 21 July 2007
By Mary T. Hoffman

The word “darkness” is mentioned 163 times in the New American Standard Bible translation, and the word “light,” 229 times.

As used in the Bible, “darkness” refers to the condition of people who have not experienced the “change of heart” of those who have had their spiritual eyes opened and are now in the light.

I think that the key word here is “change.” As I’ve mentioned before, this change is manifested by a turning away from hardness and passive cruelty (support of any activity that causes suffering) as well as away from overt cruelty.

In John 3:19-21, Jesus uses both words: “light” and “darkness” –

19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.

20 "For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 "But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." ~ New American Standard Bible

In 1 John 1:5-6 “light” and “darkness” are mentioned again:

5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; ~ New American Standard Bible

In Acts 26:18-19 Jesus tells Paul that He is sending him “…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”

Galatians 5:22-24 lists the characteristics increasingly found in those who have experienced a spiritual change:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ~ New American Standard Bible

A true believer should be showing evidence of such fruit as concerns all of God’s creation, not limiting it to only certain creatures. Those who truly experience this change from darkness to light continue to learn and expand their sphere of compassion.

See also: 

Go on to: Do Your Homework Before Donating – 22 July 2007
Return to: The Value of Life – 20 July 2007
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