This is a candle that we use in the bathroom at my house. It looks unassuming right? After all it's just a candle and when used it can give off a pretty sweet vibe to an otherwise pretty "crappy" room. While it smells really good it has a dark side.
A few weeks ago we hosted a gathering at our house and had this candle lit for several hours while we entertained. A few days later as I stood in the bathroom, I noticed a dark film over all of the tile throughout the bathroom. I reached up and wiped my hand down the wall to discover a brilliantly white section of tile concealed under this mysterious dark film. My candle, designed to burn brightly and provide a pleasing aroma had instead coated my bathroom walls with a thick soot that was anything but pleasing. As I wiped the walls down I was reminded of the things in our lives that can often do the same thing. These are the things that are burning brightly and that are designed to provide something good but in the background they are leaving a subtle dark film on your life.
Let's consider social media. It was of course designed for connection, re-connection to old friends, the celebration of our kid's accomplishments, updates on our own life, etc. But what about the subtle potentially dark film that it leaves on our lives? We scroll social media for hours and can sometimes log off feeling "less than" all of the other "perfection" that you've just witnessed via updates and photos. What's designed to be good can potentially leave an unwanted dark film in your life. Psalm 139:13-14 says, "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." In other words, God isn't comparing you to anyone else and neither should you.
What about those of you with a strong work ethic? "Hey, wait a minute, what's wrong with a strong work ethic?" Well nothing is wrong with a strong work ethic if it doesn't leave a dark film over your life. If we're not careful our desire to work, be at work, earn money, etc. can slowly but surely pull us away from what's most important. Our relationship with God, with our family or with friends can take a backseat as the dark film of money takes over. Hebrews 13:5 says, "Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." Perhaps we are sometimes guilty of masking over our discontentment with life by having a strong work ethic? We work extra because it's the only thing that makes us happy. We work every weekend, not because we have to but because we don't feel provided for by God. Of course we want to provide for our family, of course we want to succeed but let us not forget the dark film that can creep in if we're not aware. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.