Have you ever thought about the correlation of the time of day to the bad habits we have? While its not always the case, typically we are tempted the most during the night-time hours.
Why is that?
This isn’t a new idea, as the Bible plainly reveals the reason why it is sometimes difficult to remain virtuous in physical darkness.
The man who dishonors his marriage bed says to himself, “Who can see me? Darkness surrounds me, walls hide me, no one sees me. Who can stop me from sinning?” (Sirach 23:18)
For thinking that in their secret sins they were unobserved behind a dark curtain of forgetfulness. (Wisdom 17:3)
Think about it for a few minutes. What bad habits do you have? Are there any “pet sins” that are difficult for you to stop? What time of day is it easiest for you to commit them?
Furthermore, is it a coincidence that night clubs dim their lights? What would happen if a bar or night club turned up all the lights, full blast? Would we drink more alcohol if it were dark or light?
Often we think that God can not see us when we sin, when in fact he is there the whole time. Exterior darkness somehow comforts us in our wrong-doing and reassures us that what we are doing is secret.
This is why light, both physical and “spiritual” light, is essential to breaking our bad habits.
For example, when night comes and we feel tempted to do something we know is wrong, turn all the lights on in your house! If that doesn’t help, try going to sleep!
Light has the power to put a spotlight on us and we can no longer hide. It has a psychological effect that God has placed within this world to remind us that he is the “the light of the world” (John 8:12).
Besides physical light, bringing our sins out of the darkness of secrecy and into the light of a trusted friend of family member is extremely important. It is much more difficult to sin when we know someone else knows about it. This is why groups such as alcoholics anonymous are much more effective than trying to quit bad habits on our own. Once our sins are in the “light,” we are less tempted to commit them.
The good news is that Jesus has come into the world and fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah, setting us free from slavery and bringing us into the light of life.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone. (Isaiah 9:1)