Consider - “Where am I beginning this process?” and “What are the reasons I may be stuck?”.
Imagine being in a dark, windowless room at night with all the lights off. You have to find something on the far side, but you can’t see your hand in front of your face. You decide to go for it anyway. Because of the darkness, everything in the room becomes dangerous. You trip over every piece of furniture, toy, rug, or lego brick. Every item becomes a hazard.
Now, imagine you light the room up with a flashlight. Suddenly, you’re able to navigate the space. You have enough light to get from one side of the room to the other. Things are still spooky, there’s still darkness - but overall, you can get through without danger.
Finally, imagine that you turn on the light switch. Now everything is visible. With light, dark shapes in the corner become furniture, you’re able to navigate all the items on the floor without issue. Colors come into focus. Art has meaning.
Darkness and light is the analogy in this passage in reference to your sin. People who live in darkness are in danger. Everything in the emotional and spiritual life is a hazard. They don’t know themselves, they can’t tell what sets off their propensity for anger or deception, and they are at the disposal of their sin nature.
Most Christians live in the flashlight analogy - they have exposed some of their sin. They have asked God for forgiveness at least once, and they can generally navigate from one side of a room to the other. But they have not done a complete inventory of their sin and the sin of others. So - their life is not in full-focus. They can’t see their lives clearly, and often - they live most of their lives this way.
It is possible, however, to live with the lights on - understanding the effect of your own sin and the sin of others on your sense of identity. When that happens you can live out of the identity God has given you - which has the power to change your relationships and your sense of purpose in life.
It is impossible to move through a process of healing without knowing where you stand when you begin. There are six points at which you may be entering this devotional: hiding, thinking, preparing, acting, or maintaining (and the less positive feeling - reverting).
People who are hiding don’t think they have a problem or any pain. People who are thinking know they have pain but don’t know whether they’ll do anything about it. People who are preparing know they have pain and are counting the cost of making a change. People who are acting are actively taking steps to change or heal. People who are maintaining are implementing safety guards to make sure they don’t slip backwards. And, people who are reverting are dealing with frustration or feelings of failure, and considering whether they are going to get back on the right track.
Take a moment to consider which stage you are in today and what it will take for you to progress to the next stage.