What does “Walking in the light” mean? Answers to this question range from doing what is right at any time, especially when no one is looking, to following the example of Christ. Does this mean we are supposed to be nice? Is God nice? And what about God’s Son – Was Jesus a nice guy when He cleared the Jerusalem temple and kicked the money changers out?
I believe there is a reason why the Bible doesn’t state that God is nice, but instead emphatically reiterates that God is love. In fact, when I conducted a search on the word “nice” in all 66 books of the Bible, only one verse came up, namely in the book of Jeremiah, where it says (Jeremiah 12:6):
“For even your brothers – your father’s house – even they will betray you, even they will shout out after you. Have no confidence in them, even if they say nice words to you.”
Obviously, the Bible does not seem to have very much to say about being nice – but what about love? Conducting a search on the word “love” in all 66 books of the Bible, I came up with a whopping 588 search results. 588 to 1 – love definitely wins!
So if we walk in love we definitely walk in the light. Does that mean we walk on pink clouds all day? Actually, the opposite is true, and we know it. Parents raising children know it. People engaged in relationships know it. Love’s spectrum is wide. There’s easy love, tough love, jealous love, just to name a few.
I would venture to say that love shows its true colors when challenged. If you had a nice-looking car without an engine, wouldn’t you like to get rid of it? It’s the engine that keeps the motor running. Similarly it’s passion that keeps our love going. And since we all come from God, let’s look at the originator of love, God Himself, and we will notice that His love is multifaceted and expressed with a lot of passion. In the book of Exodus we read about a jealous God (Exodus 34:14):
“For you are to bow down to no other god, because Adonai is jealous for His Name—He is a jealous God.”
If we see a friend habitually promoting his firstborn while overlooking what his other kids bring to the table, then we understand their jealousy. Jealousy is an indicator that there’s preferential treatment going on, and preferential treatment is not OK. If the children of said friend didn’t care about their parents, then they wouldn’t be jealous and continuously fight for their attention. Jealousy is a hot burning flame that can undermine and destroy relationships, but it is a derivative of love. So from this vantage point it makes sense that God gets jealous if we overlook Him all the time and give our full attention to something or someone else. If we didn’t matter to Him He wouldn’t be jealous. His jealousy is His declaration of love to us.
Prophet Isaiah wrote about God’s anger (Isaiah 57:17):
“Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry; I struck him; I hid My face; I was angry—but he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.”
Anger could be an indicator that there’s abuse and injustice going on. If abuse and injustice happens right before our very eyes we should get angry. While anger is mostly known as violent and destructive, it can also be constructive and promote positive change. It’s passion for freedom that ignited civil war in the United States. Without going into details, we still need a lot of anger to eliminate all kinds of slavery on this planet. And this is why God gets angry. His anger might have a bad reputation, but look at the results. We’re still here. God’s anger initiates change and brings about a new beginning. A cardinal example was the new beginning after the big flood.
Since God loves full spectrum, let’s embrace this kind of love and do the same! Let’s be involved, interested, and passionate as we go about our business today.