I grew up in a culture that encouraged shining our light so others would see the goodness of God’s love. But that same culture got nervous when your light attracted a certain type of people or when it challenged the status quo. Being a light in a dark world can be scary because it shines on all the things we wish to keep covered up. It reveals that not all is perfect, that we all may need some grace, some kindness, and some compassion, and perhaps in need of a savior. And when you shine your light, the same people who tell you shine brightly, may tell you are shining too bright or shining in the wrong direction because your light reveals the hidden struggles in a broken world.
Jesus told his followers they were to be the world’s light. They were to shine brightly and clearly so when their conduct is seen by others, they trace the light to its source: Jesus.
I believe Jesus came to establish principles on this earth that shine the light of God’s love. It’s a light that sets prisoners free. It’s a light that reaches out and brings people into its warmth, not kick them out. It’s a light that gives good news to the poor. It’s light that comforts the mourning. It’s light that gives food to the hungry. It’s light that confronts the evil of greed. It’s light that confronts status quo. It’s light that redeems. It’s light that transforms. It’s light that is inextinguishable.
Here are a few ways you can help shine the light:
1) Go into the dark places and shine
We all have a longing to do good in this world. I believe we all have a calling to a higher purpose. Find your call by finding your desire and gifts and find where the world needs the most. Then, with humility and grace, go and shine.
2) Remember the darkness cannot overcome the light
One of my favorite scripture passages is from John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
People forget the light cannot be extinguished because we do not pass down the stories that witness to the light shining in dark places. Remember the stories and share those stories.