How Bright is Your Light?
(ThyBlackMan.com) This week, I would like to remind you of one of your most important “divine assignments” – being a light that draws people closer to God. No matter what your purpose in life, this is an underlying mission: Living your life in such a way that people say to themselves, “There’s something different about that person and I want to know how to experience some of that peace, joy and love in my own life.”
Matthew 5: 14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city 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 praise your Father in heaven.” Here are five ways you can exemplify this principle:
1. LOOK FOR WAYS TO BE A BLESSING.
Letting your light shine means letting all that is good within you come forth. There is so much negativity swirling around us on a daily basis that when good enters our environment, it brings light to the darkness. It is a refreshing burst of clean air. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing – even simple ways such as being a courteous driver, thoughtful friend, and kind co-worker.
2. REFUSE TO BE JUDGMENTAL. One of the fastest ways to turn people away from God is to judge them. You can acknowledge that a person has done wrong without condemning them for it. Remember that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Perhaps you would never do what someone else did that was terrible, but you know what? We’ve all done things for which we needed to be forgiven, and by grace, we received forgiveness. Be merciful to others. Choose to pray for those you feel tempted to judge. Embrace and support them when they are trying to do better. When you do this, they will be more likely to be curious about the faith you profess.
3. SPEAK UP FOR WHAT IS JUST.
Notice, I did not say, Speak up for what is “right.” Too often, we confuse “being right” with “doing right.” Focus more on the latter. In every instance and especially every conflict, it is essential that you treat people justly – to ensure that those who cross your path are better off for having done so. If you are in a work or personal situation in which others are being cheated, disrespected or done a disservice, let your light shine and speak up. You can do so in a way that is direct, yet calm, straightforward and non-judgmental.
4. LET GO OF THE DESIRE TO “FIT IN.”
If you are going to let your light shine, unfortunately, it will be hard to do so and fit in everywhere you go. In some environments, simply smiling and speaking to people in a kind way will cause you to seem odd. Choose to be more concerned with being a vessel of truth and love on a daily basis than fitting in with the world’s standards.
5. DON’T HIDE YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. One of the most common ways you can dim your own light is to pretend publicly that God is not central to your way of life. If God is an important part of who you are, there is no need to have a private relationship you keep to yourself, and a public persona that never acknowledges your own spirituality. You don’t need a Bible on your desk or a preacher’s robe to share your faith with others. When opportunities present themselves to share where your strength comes from in difficult times, or to acknowledge how God has protected or blessed you, be honest. Your faith is a part of who you are. When you free yourself to be who you are, you also free others to be who they truly are.