“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” – Ephesians 5:11-13, NIV
“Wait! You forgot your phone,” Tory said as she reached for the deacon’s phone. As she did, a lewd image of a child flickered across the screen.
With shaky hands, she returned the device. She watched as the man gathered his wife and kids in the car to leave from the Sunday morning service. She’d always thought of the deacon as a kind-hearted man, one who served Jesus sincerely.
She waited until the church had emptied out except for the pastor and his wife. “If I know a crime is being committed, should I expose the person, even if it causes trouble for our church?”
The pastor’s eyebrows went up. “We’re called to not only walk in the light but also expose the deeds of darkness. If we don’t do that, then we’re helping to cover up sin and Jesus won’t heal what we’re hiding.”
It can be tempting to hide the sins of other people. Maybe like Tory, you worry your church will look bad or you don’t want to stir up trouble. But as children of the Light, we are called to shine a light on the darkness.
If you know a child is being abused, you have a moral responsibility to disclose this information to your local law enforcement agency and/or social services. Honor God by standing up for the most vulnerable people in the church—our children.
God, give me the strength and courage to expose wrong-doing. When sin is hidden, it festers and leads to an infection that can threaten the health of individuals, families, and churches. Show me how to speak up and speak out on behalf of those who have no defender. In Jesus’ name, Amen.