“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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.”
~Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
As Christians, we have developed this all-too-cliché (in other words, overused) concept of how we just need to shine the light of Jesus everywhere. But, as overused as this statement may seem sometimes, it is Scriptural, and it actually carries an enormous amount of weight. The statement itself is not the problem. The problem is that we have become so used to saying it that the phrase has somehow lost some of its impact along the way.
But let me just keep this short and sweet and share something that just might put a little extra spark back into this. For some people, you might be the only light they see throughout their day. Think about that. People who don’t have Jesus in their lives live in state of perpetual darkness. Jesus explained about them as being harassed, helpless, and like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36). So that coworker you just can’t stand; that angry person in line at the store; that acquaintance who always seems to push your buttons; that family member who just rubs you the wrong way—for all these and more, have you ever thought that they actually might be attracted to you because of the light that you carry? They might not ever show it or admit it—in fact, they might even seem to act toward the contrary of it—but maybe, just maybe there is something about you that intrigues them. Have you ever been in a dark room and then walked outside on a bright sunny day? The bright light can be a bit overwhelming at first! But the longer you are in the light, the more you begin to appreciate it and not want to return to the darkness. Similarly, a person who is used to living in utter darkness might simultaneously be repulsed, fascinated, and drawn in by a sudden appearance of light—thus, that person will be conflicted with how to respond.
So what is our job? Our job is to keep shining. God has given us a light, and for some people, it is the only light they may have ever seen—and it is the very light that will lead them to the cross. Don’t underestimate the power of the light that you carry. Don’t try to hide it and drive the people away. Keep shining. Shine brightly. Let everyone know that darkness is not their only option. There is a Light that drives out the darkness. There is a Love that casts out every fear. And His name is Jesus. And He lives and shines through you and me.