Even With My Dark Side

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Topics: Living Water

It’s a question that comes up a lot.

It’s a question that many people are asking.

It’s a question that is very often a prayer.

It’s a question that keeps people home from church on Sunday mornings.

It’s a question that keeps people hiding from God and from others.

It’s also a question that some church going people deny and hide from.

This question?

Well, I have heard it in many forms. And then I was driving the other day and listening to the radio and I start hearing this question in song form. It was articulated so beautifully, I was taken back. So when I got back home, I typed in a phrase I heard from the song that I heard, “Will you love me, even with my dark side?” It turns out it is a song by Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol winner.

I do celebrate the message of this of this song. It asks “the” question I was hinting at above, “Will you love me, even with my dark side?” but also expresses related ideas such as our worth, that nobody’s perfect, fear, never giving up, and staying and or running away in relationships. Then, even better, I watched the video for the song, it does a wonderful job of illustrating many issues of worth that so many of us struggle with – losing jobs, weight/body image, drugs and alcohol, loss and grief, the past, relationships, faith and others; and it offers hope. Here is a link to the video http://www.vevo.com/watch/kelly-clarkson/dark-side/GBE431200044.

I don’t know about Kelly’s faith – but she has written a wonderful prayer. She may not have addressed it to God, but I encourage you to read the lyrics as if it were a prayer to God. It’s there.

And guess what? As the song does a good job of answering that “we’re worth it,” the Bible offers several, wonderful, faithful, answers.

Answers such as, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” Meaning that God is and was not waiting for us to be perfect and then loving us; He loves us right now, dark sides and all. And it’s through that love that we are enabled to leave or dark sides behind.

Answers such as, “God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love (Jeremiah 31:3 MSG).” Meaning, God loves us based on His character; not based on us. Therefore there is nothing we can do to add or subtact from it.

Answers such as, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

And answers such as, “My son, the father said, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found (Luke 15:31-32).” Meaning no matter how lost, or far away, we can always come back to God.

And there are many more answers, but I think these are some good examples.

For many years, I have been haunted by this question, “Will you love me, even with my dark side?” because I know it has been the source of confusion, hurt, distance for so many – it breaks my heart. I find that many people ask it and often don’t believe God’s answer. I find that many people get stuck living in their dark side; stuck in guilt, the past, mistakes, hurts, addictions and more – from which there is freedom in Christ. I also find that lots of people pretend that they don’t have dark sides; in which they lose out on the grace and joy of God; to deny that we’re sinners is to miss the whole point of Jesus.

But for today, if you are asking, or if you have ever asked, or if you avoid asking because you’re afraid of the answer, or if you stopped asking at some point – yes, absolutely, yes, God loves you with your dark side. And, for what it’s worth, so do I.

My prayer is that more and more, you find your worth, your sense of being loved and loving, your hope, and your heart in the One who is loves us more than we can ever know.

Amen.

Rev. Christopher B. Wolf

Isaiah 42:7

cbrianwolf@gmail.com

www.christopherbwolf.com

Christopher B. Wolf is pastor of First Reformed Church of Saddle Brook, NJ and is the author of Giving Faith a Second Chance: Restarts, Mulligans and Do-Overs (2007) and With You Every Step of the Way (2011); and the host of Walk With Me, Wednesdays 8 pm on WYFN 94.9 FM-NY and on www.yfnradio.com.

“It is a matter of sharing and bearing the pain and puzzlement of the world so that the crucified love of God in Christ may be brought to bear healingly upon the world at exactly that point.” N.T. Wright

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