On Being A Light

Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

You are the light of the world. Yes, YOU. It’s part of your job description as a Christian….to be light in dark places. How’s that working for you? How are you doing with the light you have? Honestly, I don’t like the questions this generates at all! If people are looking to me for a little light to find their way I wonder if I’m any help to them at all.

Most of us want illumination for ourselves, for our own lives, but we are described by Jesus as illumination for those around us, light for others. Being the light of the world is a big task. It’s the task of helping those in the dark find their way, helping them find the right path and discover the light that illuminates us. Being the light of the world is a heavy burden and for the most part we do not wear it well. Frankly, at least for me, I think I’m a master at hiding my little light under a basket. I’m not good at helping others see the way with kindness and grace. I wish I was better at this thing called being the light of the world, but I’m still working on it.

And then Jesus goes even further and says this, “let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Part of the illuminating work of the believer is how we live our lives, our good deed. Let your good deeds shine out for all to see….why? So people will praise God. Our lives are meant to direct the world in praise to God for what they see because of us. How often does that happen? I think we have missed something in this job description of being lights in the world. Something has gone horribly wrong in the church! Instead of being lights to illuminate the way we have become spotlights in the eyes to blind the lost as they seek to find their way.

I think the thing we have lost is the very grace we received when we came to Christ. As I read Matthew and see Jesus interact with the world in darkness he doesn’t turn up the wattage to blind them, he gives them just enough light to make them want more. I still have much to learn about being a light in a dark world. I sure don’t know how to do this well, but if I am a light for those around me how is that supposed to work? How should I live so that, like the proverbial moth, those around me are drawn to the light that shines from me? I’m still working on this…..

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

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