No this isn’t a Halloween post promoting evil.
We all have a dark side. What is your dark side? This is a question all Christ – followers need to ask of themselves. Read on to uncover your hidden dark side and bring it to light.
I’m taking classes towards a women’s ministry certificate through Alliance Theological Seminary’s EMPOWEROne program. This awesome program provides Biblical and theological training and spiritual formation. EMPOWEROne equips women for effective ministry. I LOVE THIS PROGRAM!
A part of our spiritual formation is knowing ourselves – both light and dark sides. True transformation starts with knowing and accepting those sides just as Jesus accepts us. To know ourselves we need to know God to know God we need to know ourselves. “Knowing God and knowing self are therefore interdependent.” (Benner, 2014)
This past month’s homework for a class is to read the book THE GIFT OF BEING YOURSELF by David G. Benner, write a reflection paper and a lament (yes like the Psalms). I am to peel back my mask, release my sorrow and pain unto God to go deeper in my spiritual formation.
After the Saturday class on Anxiety, Fear and Lament – and bouts of crying by almost every student –something shifted in me. I learned to lament is to tell the Lord my sorrows and grief. With releasing my sorrow and grief comes pain. Something I don’t like . Who does?
When releasing the pain, we need to let God absorb it. Remember that is what Jesus did when He died for us. He took on all our sorrows, pain, guilt, shame, sin, toxicity, crud; the list can go on and on.
Although we will still experience pain in this life, we don’t have to let it be our companion. We shouldn’t use just anything to absorb our pain: like drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, food, money, people and other coping mechanisms. This might dull our pain, temporarily, but it doesn’t lessen or take the pain, sorrow or grief away.
What does this have to do with uncovering our hidden dark sides? Our dark side is the person we don’t want anyone to see or know about. This dark side usually is grown from something in our lives that causes us pain, sorrow, grief, shame and/or to sin. Maybe something from your childhood, or a dream that never was fulfilled, perfectionism, self – doubt etc.
To compensate for this dark side, we have a persona the world sees. A lie to everyone and eventually to ourselves. We start to live an illusion that will eventually crumble. This dark side hinders our transformation and spiritual journey.
The dark side stunts us from truly living free in Christ. Remember Jesus knows everything about our hearts. He knows all the good and bad things about us… but guess what? He loves us anyway. He died on the cross so we can be pure again to have the loving relationship with God, one of our purposes in this life!
My mask of perfection is crumbling. I prayed to God to reveal my dark side, the lie I’m living. Boy did He answer that prayer quickly. I started to realize why I do some of the things I do. It doesn’t feel good.
After the revelation I cried almost half the day. Tears of joy, pain, sorrow flowed freely. A catharsis, renewing of my spirit. I am getting to know myself, accepting the dark side – like Jesus does – so He can help transform the dark to light. Fully opening myself to Jesus redeeming love, grace and mercy. Aware of my total dependence on God’s help.
When we uncover and accept our dark side this will help us to know God better. Dive deep into ourselves to know and experience His deep love for us.
How to Uncover Your Dark Side
Pray for God to uncover your dark side. Ask Him to reveal it to you. Be prepared to lament, cry and/or scream. Let the pain, sorrow, grief, shame, hurt, etc. be absorbed by Jesus. Then open your heart to receive God’s infinite love for you. Realize His presence in your life. Let gratitude flow. Praise and worship God.
Let the transformation begin.
Thank you for reading. I recommend reading THE GIFT OF BEING YOURSELF by David G. Benner. It is a profound book, a life changer.
Reference: Benner, D.G. THE GIFT OF BEING YOURSELF. 2015, IVP Books; Downers Grove, IL
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Christina Leeman MPH, writer and health educator, emboldens women to be the She Who Honors God with her all - body, thoughts, words, actions.
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