A year and half parked in the book of Romans and the determination to persevere, God inspired a new goal just last week: finish the last 3 chapters by summers' end. One chapter a month of dissecting, inductive study. (Thank you Anne Streeter for teaching me how to wrestle with God's Word!)
Finishing up with cross-referencing in Romans chapter 13, I see the stark contrast between light and darkness explained by Paul in Ephesians 5. First, notice that the light is called armor; it protects. The darkness is simply called deeds; the things you do, not offering any protection.

Armor of Light
Deeds of Darkness
Love neighbor (Rm 13:8-10)
Sexual immorality, impurity, covetness (Eph 5:5)
Orgies, drunkedness, sexual promiscuity, sensuality, strife, jealousy (Rms 13:12-13)
Thanksgiving (Eph 5:4)
Filthiness, foolish talk, crude joking, empty words (Eph 5:6)
Daughter of King, in the Lord (Rms 13:14)
Inheritance of kingdom of God
Daughter of disobedience (Eph 5:6)
No inheritance (Eph 5:5)
Good, right, true (Eph 5:9)
Bad, liar, false (inferred opposite of Eph 5:9)
Discerning, confident (Eph 5:10,12)
Exposed, no secret (Eph 5:11-14)
Ashamed (Eph 5:12)
Secretive (Eph 5:11-14)

Most strikingly, I realize exposing sin removes shame (Eph 5:12&13). Because light is 180 degree opposite of darkness, choosing to take what is shameful to you and making it visible (not secret) will essentially be taking what is unfruitful in appearance (bad, lies, false) and make it fruitful (good, right, true).
I've seen it so many times in my repentant golden heads. The boisterous one screaming is in her room, throwing a temper tantrum; acting out the deeds of darkness. After the tantrum, she feels guilty, ashamed. When she humbly chooses to ask forgiveness, she is immediately brought into the light. With her confession, the shame is removed and she is again confident that she is a loved daughter.
Of course, I am not perfect either and am guilty of my own deeds of darkness. Some time ago, I found myself judging the calculating one's heart and assuming she was falling into the same trap of making food an idol. A parent never wants to pass on generational sins and this is my fear. Something in me knew that if  I confessed my judgement to the engineer, it would expose my sin to light and diminish the shame in my heart. It did.
Idolizing food can be a big area of darkness to me. Eating in private often leads me to binge, trying to find satisfaction in food instead of Christ. Ashamed of this lack of self control, I find that when I eat in public, in the company of friends and family (exposed) and able to keep my eyes on Christ, finding satisfaction in Him.
Finally, Romans 13:14 makes it clear that by not exposing sin, is to make provision for the flesh (or sin.) In secret, the sin problem grows worse and worse. It's like a thick fog when you are unable to see anything. But when the secret is exposed, the sun comes, heating the earth, and the fog disappears.
Friends, the fog is not fun. It's torture. It's living life ashamed, embarrassed of your thought life and actions. What fog of sin are you groping around in? I challenge you to find a trustworthy sister in Christ and expose what is in secret. It is the beginning of freedom from sin and walking in Light.

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