“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. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” – Matthew 5:14-16.
In the Bible, God instructs His people to live in such a way that we profoundly impact the lives of others. And it doesn’t have a lot to do with age, experience, or qualifications. A case in point: The apostle Paul told his young protégé Timothy, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12). Timothy was quite capable of setting an example for others, even though he was young. Likewise, you are capable of setting a life-changing example for someone else, regardless of your past or personal struggles. Regardless of your family background or your level of formal Christian education.
A quote often mistakenly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi gets to the heart of the matter: “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Words certainly have their place in a believer’s life. The right words, spoken at the right time, can change lives. But those words must be accompanied by loving actions and concern. Jesus set the example. He was a man of actions and words. He involved himself in the lives of others. He demonstrated His love through compassionate interaction.
Light brings sight. Light reveals the unseen. Not only that, it chases away the darkness. It brings security and comfort. Think about it. Each time you turn on a lamp, darkness can no longer remain. What seems so dark and heavy, and sometimes oppressing, immediately leaves with just a flick of a switch. Light is powerful. And we have light in us. That light is Jesus Christ. We can’t do that if we’re demonstrating our faith and love to those around us. Light is never meant to be hidden. It has a purpose. We may be the only example of God for someone in our lives. How will they ever get to know Him, if we are not a carrier for faith, hope, and love? In other words, we project the light, life, and love of Jesus for the world to see.
Jesus told His followers to “let your light shine before others,” calling them to live an active faith, not a passive one. Put your light on its stand. Your circumstances are an opportunity to shine brightly for the Lord and to share God’s overcoming truth with those around you. Your family and community can tell what you believe by how you live.
- What situation are you in right now in which you have to exercise faith in God?
- How can you share your faith with others in the midst of your circumstances?