Maybe you remember the song “This Little Light of Mine”? Ahh… The blissful ignorance of childhood optimism. I mean, seriously, how can we really “let it shine”?
In Matthew 5, we have Jesus’ most famous sermon recorded for us (“blessed are the poor in spirit” and the “meek will inherit the earth”). But He also said: “You are the light of the world… Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What does being “the light of the world” mean, anyway? In John 8, Jesus says, ““I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Soooo… If we are following Jesus, we should have His “light”. But what does “light” do? It helps people see in the dark (and I mean spiritual dark, as in John 12:46, for example); our lives should help others see God. Another thing light does: exposes sin and ugliness (right after John 3:16, it says that people sometimes don’t come into the light because they are “afraid their evil deeds will be exposed”). Our light should be a contrast to the sin and darkness around us.
But do we #1 help others see God with our light, and #2 contrast the sin and darkness around us?
“Let your light shine before others…” I don’t know about you, but I have a tough time letting my light shine day to day. It’s not like I purposefully put it under a bowl or anything; but in the end, I have the same result! Like many of you, I am so busy with a crazy schedule of work, school, church, my kids’ activities, exercise, etc… that I have NO TIME, and NO ENERGY to let my light shine. My busyness, among other things, prevents me from shining. I might as well be hiding my light under a “bowl”!
If you and I are the “light of the world” to bring the good news of the Gospel to a dark world, is the world in big trouble? I have been so convicted of my lack of “light”… my loss of shine and luster!
I think the challenge is to CARE. Everywhere we go, from the grocery store to our workplace to the bus stop, we are in close proximity to people who may have never seen the Light. And we may be the only one they meet who might SHINE it. I’m not saying that we should stand on the corners and preach the truth about Jesus (although a little more of that going on might not be so bad!). But we should be showing people God by our words and actions; we should be a contrast to the sin around us. And YES, we should be telling people about Jesus, sharing our testimony with people whenever we can, praying for opportunities to share.
So each day, I’ve started asking myself “did I shine the Light today”? It’s a question for the dinner table: how was your day? how did you shine His Light? I am more mindful of my shine. And I’m tossing out some of the bowls of busyness and exhaustion that cover it up.
I ask all of you: HOW HAVE YOU SHINED TODAY? Please, post and share your shining moments–we are SUPPOSED to let our “light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”!
Sara, thanks for sharing this with me. I love the post and, as a guy who writes every week, I really connect with the title of the blog. :)–Phil