Men Love Darkness
Many communities have "sunshine laws," guidelines which regulate the way in which the business of the community must be done. Typically they stipulate that certain meetings of governing officials or bodies must be held "in the sunshine," i.e., openly, as opposed to "behind closed doors" or "in the shadows."
The reason for such laws is contained in John 3:19. Jesus said that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Darkness conceals the wickedness that men so often wish to practice. Sunshine laws require government officials to hold their meetings and/or make their decisions in the full sight of the public, thus reducing the likelihood that "shady" deals will be made. The "light" of public scrutiny is designed to keep men honest in their dealings.
Thieves often come at night so that the darkness hides their activities. But it is not just thieves who prefer the cloak of "darkness." Politicians and businessmen often transact their business in the most private of settings, not because their business demands secrecy per se, but because the lack of integrity in their behavior would be revealed if such behavior is scrutinized by others. How many political careers have been ruined because scandalous behavior involving immorality or greed was "brought to light"?
Unfortunately, it is not just unbelievers or public figures who illustrate the truths contained in Jesus’ teaching. Married Christians, for example, who begin to "keep their mates in the dark" about their activities often do so because they have something to hide. Sexual unfaithfulness, use of pornography and compulsive gambling are just three examples of sins that Christians sometimes commit under the cover of "darkness," i.e., the ignorance of their spouses. While "the need for privacy" is a legitimate concern in some instances, it is also often used as a "cover" for ungodly behavior which cannot be defended in the light of scripture. It is hardly surprising that such sinners are frequently indignant that their conduct has been exposed or even questioned when they should be repentant because their conduct has been identified as sinful! "For everyone practicing evil hates the lightand does not come to the light,lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:20).
Jesus also said that "he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God" (John 3:21). Jesus is not suggesting that the godly individual may enjoy no privacy; His point is that deeds done according to the Biblical moral code don’t need to be hidden. Such behavior can stand the test of "light."
The principles of John 3:19-21 mandate that we should live in such a way that we are unashamed to have "light" shine on our deeds. The truth is that eventually God will indeed "bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts" (1 Corinthians 4:5). How does your life presently stand up under the searching light of God’s scrutiny?