Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.
My two oldest kids recently got a balloon with a light inside of it as part of their Easter basket. Immediately upon blowing up the balloon our oldest got real excited and screamed “let’s take them into my closet so we can watch them glow!”
These weren’t very bright lights, especially while sitting in the front room in the middle of the day and light all around. Yet, in that pitch black closet with no windows and all the lights in the room turned off, it was bright enough that the kids were able to sit there and read a book. It reminded me of camping and sitting in the tent in the middle of the pitch black night and reading to nothing but a small flashlight.
Even at such a young age, she realized that in the darkest places is where light shines the brightest. While this is an important concept to realize, we often take for granted that sometimes it’s hard to see light in a well lit place. Oh sure it can be seen, it just won’t reach it’s full potential.
As a Christian, how often does this concept also ring true? I grew up in churches that stressed fellowship among each other, building each other up, and iron sharpening iron among many other things. These were just a few of the core concepts and, don’t get me wrong, are vitally important to our walks with Christ, but sometimes we need to let our light shine also.
If we are among other lights all the time, will we really ever reach our potential? Will others see out lighting capability? I remember at one church my wife and I were at among our stops in life, our Pastor, Pastor Todd, got up in front of the church one Sunday morning and began by letting everyone in the church know that this would be a tough week for him and he would be spending a lot of time at our local bar. Everyone kinda paused for a moment before he finished off by stating he will be going in to the bars to pray with people, meet them at their needs. Pastor Todd is a guy that loves God wholeheartedly! He asked us to keep him in his prayers especially that week as he went to try and let his light shine in such a dark place, which brings up another point: out lights can only shine if they’re allowed to.
What I didn’t mention was that when I was explaining to my daughter how the balloon lit up, she wanted to take it into her closet before we pulled the tag to get the light to work. A light in a dark place does no good if it’s not turned on! I know it seems like common sense but how many times do we go into a dark place to witness and get nothing accomplished (rhetorical question!)? If Pastor Todd just went into that bar and sat there, his light wouldn’t have shined very brightly. I don’t know the results, but I am sure he didn’t just sit there. I’m sure he approached, talked, and listened to people and what their needs were. He allowed his light to shine.
Regardless of how strong our light it, our how deeply rooted in faith it is or how strong it is, shining it is still a choice. And, quite frankly, it’s a choice we need to make every single day. We need to keep it charged through those times of fellowship and discipleship, but we also need to make a conscious choice to allow it to shine.