And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.
“The Unfruitful Deeds of Darkness” sounds like a great title for anyone aspiring to write a mystery novel. Just imagining the story line I can easily envision foggy nights with suspicious looking shadows lurking around in the distance. My guess is that murder, deceit, jealousy, and hatred would be prevalent themes visited throughout the course of this book. The hero would undoubtedly be some type of detective… professional or amateur I’ve not yet decided. Nonetheless, at the conclusion of the book, our brave hero would discover the identities behind the shadowy figures and expose their evil deeds.
The Apostle Paul commands you to be that detective. As a faithful follower of Christ you are not merely called to abstain from unrighteous deeds, but to expose them as well. In our story the detective will most likely demonstrate extreme dedication and courage while attempting to identify the deceptive shadows lurking in the darkness. As with most stories, his hard work will result in success. In turn, that success will lead to fame, money, and a good reputation within his community.
While our hero’s life and pursuits against evil are carefully and methodically penned out on paper, your life is not so well organized or predictable. Nonetheless, you will be faced with countless “deeds of darkness” before your final day. Granted, all of these deeds may not be as shocking as murder or shadowy figures in the distance, but don’t allow their lack of public condemnation to skew your view of the truth. The deeds of darkness can easily be defined as anything that conflicts with verse nine of this same chapter. “For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” This means that in our life, lying, jealousy, gossip, slander, and hatred are but a few among the many deeds of darkness. As a child of God, you are to faithfully stand up for His Word and must defend His truths. When encountered with gossip, expose it for what it is and encourage your brother or sister in Christ to evaluate their character. If you witness jealousy or hatred in the life of a friend, talk to them about it rather than allowing them to grow further into their discontentment. You must be faithful to expose everything that opposes what is “good, righteous, and true.”
Finally, remember that success in exposing these deeds will not automatically land you within the good reputation of your community. If the truth is to be told, fame and money will be even less likely to the one who is found faithful in their duties. Unlike our hero, you do not work for the community around you but for the Lord in Heaven. Therefore, your rewards will not be found here on earth, but rather in heaven where He is preparing a grand banquet for you and the saints. It is my prayer that we will all one day be sitting around that table paying homage to the one who so graciously delivered us from the deeds of darkness and into the light of the Lord. Won’t you be used by God to invite others to that table today?