When I look at my own life, my prayer is that I will become a child of light. A child of light rejects its former life that was marked by darkness and revels in all that is good and right and true. They spend their days trying to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Another thing that marks a child of light is an absence of the fruits of darkness – anger, fear, slander, hatred – just to name a few.
Dallas Willard says, “Where the children of light differ is primarily and most importantly on the “inside” of their life. It lies in what they are in their depths.” Any program for growth in the Christian spiritual life must address the inside of a person – their thoughts, their choices, their character, and condition of their heart.
Let’s look at the thought life of a Child of Light or a Grown Up Christian. What is on their mind is God. Let me be clear. The God we are talking about is the God that makes himself known throughout scripture and culminates in the sending of his son, Jesus, to show us how to live, to make the Kingdom of God present in our lives, and to bring us salvation for all the ways we have failed God. This God is active for our good, merciful, and full of steadfast love. If your thoughts do not see God in this way then your light will be distorted and you will be prone to dabble in darkness.
Willard goes on to say, “Because their (Child of Light) mind is centered upon God and oriented with reference to him, all other good things are also welcome there: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,” their mind ponders these things (Philippians 4:8).
Are you intoxicated by God? Does he inform your thoughts, affect your decisions, shape your reactions? I see many Chrstians who seem to think about God only so they can use his name to “endorse” their personal preferences, biases, and agenda. That is not the character of a Grown Up Christian.
“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”
If you want to understand more of who God is and give yourself a true view of God, I would recommend James Bryan Smith’s Good and Beautiful God. If you want a clearer picture of what a Child of Light looks like, I would recommend Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart.