Sparkle or Light?

A friend reminded me yesterday of the subtle, subversive nature of sin. He pointed out how the world offers many shiny promises of hope and fulfillment. Money, possessions, and accomplishments dangle before us constantly, cleverly tempting us to swallow the lure of false security.

I thought about his observation in terms of The Story of the Jar. I won’t repeat the story, but please click the link if you’re not familiar with this image.

Jesus spoke directly to our tendency to fill our jar with shallow, meaningless rubble until there’s no space for the truth.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:19-21

I so frequently fill my jar with the artifacts of darkness, as though a newer car or a bigger bank account will supplant gnawing emptiness. I seek acknowledgment and approval, hoping in desperation that a human spotlight can drive away fearsome shadows. I’m certain that enough success will somehow cast out the fear lurking in dark corners of my heart.

Cars and bank accounts enhance emptiness because there’s never enough. The spotlight only sharpens the shadows. Each accomplishment highlights lingering failure. Human attempts to fill the jar are simply false.

There’s only one source of light and truth. I can never fill the jar properly, but fortunately I don’t need to. Jesus fills my jar, and the entire world, with the true light. He stepped down into my darkness and offered a simpler way. My frantic efforts to shovel the world’s version of meaning into my jar aren’t required.

I want to live by His truth and come into His light.

Question: What’s one way you scramble to fill your jar that doesn’t work ?

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