by Sharon Mattingly
When we struggle with sin, where do we find victory? My short answer: in the light. I don’t pretend to have this life all figured out (Phil. 3:12), but I do know where I can find my help (Ps. 121:1-2) to get back on solid ground and maybe even gain victory over a sin, either just for the day or, when God’s grace allows, permanently. “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” – John 3:21. I didn’t realize how significantly true this verse is until a few years into my walk with Christ. I struggled with a negative view of the Lord and myself and he graciously showed me that this was wreaking havoc in my life and holding me back from true fullness in Him. I felt so much shame over my broken past that I still felt unlovable and condemned by the Lord. I hid this from everyone around me. On the outside, I probably looked like I had it all together with a great job, physical fitness and health, and many other good things going for me, but on the inside, I was crumbling. God showed me that I was fighting being vulnerable with those close to me. I didn’t want anyone else to see my flaws and weaknesses, let alone call them out, so I projected perfection the best I could. But, over the course of some setbacks in my life and a struggle with depression, God showed me that the only way to truly overcome my reoccurring sins and patterns was to stop hiding, especially from Him. I had to be willing to bring my issues from the dark into the light of His truth and what he says about Himself and me. The enemy had kept me bound for too long, believing lies about him, about God, and about who I was to God. And that is right where the enemy likes us to stay – in the dark, hiding struggles and sins, never bringing them to the light. Because, friends, the light is where he loses his power over you and your problems. When you keep struggles hidden, they can’t be worked on or fixed, and they certainly can’t be used to bring glory to God. Wait, weaknesses and struggles bring glory to God?! Yes! 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” This verse hit me like a ton of bricks when I first understood it – I never realized that by sharing my problems, God would redeem them, help me work on them, and He will use them for His glory when I’m willing to share what I’ve learned on my journey. How sweet is the sound of that news?! So, ladies, if you are secretly struggling with a sin that you desperately want victory over, don’t hesitate to start that process and bring it to the Lord first, but also find a trusted person and tell them – get it into the light! Let God use your whole life, including your weaknesses, for His glory and His good!