“A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week without knowing the gospel.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
I was captured by this thought this morning as I read my devotional. It hit me very personally. My family – who live with me day in and day out – how do they perceive Christ through me? What am I reflecting of Him? What about those friends who know me best – is my character such that they see me as Christlike? Or am I thought of as the center of attention, the gossiper, the party girl, the one who has an answer, the one who’s always right, the shopper, the whiner, the worrier? Does it hit too close to home for you too?
We all are walking billboards. Within minutes of being around us, people can tell the things we are most passionate about. We, like the giant glowing jumbotrons in the end zones, boldly broadcast our beliefs and commitments, often without even realizing we’re doing it. We all stand for something. And it shows. But does what we show match what we really want to show?
Philippians 2:14-16 states,
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life…”
Shine as lights in the world.
I can’t help thinking of Times Square and the stories-high, glowing billboards. They flash their ads 24/7 brightly for all to see. What message am I flashing to the world?
Am I giving a message of legalism or grace? Acceptance or partiality? Genuine care or busy-ness? Love or hate? Kindness or gruffness? Hope or despair? Faith or fear? Joy or gloom? Turmoil or peace? Purity or evil? Obedience to Christ or disobedience?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24
Have I crucified my fleshly passions and desires so that Christ lives through me and shines to the world? Or does my life advertise a religion, a political party, a prejudice, or some other guiding factor other than My Creator God and His will and His love for the world?
What am I inadvertently telling the world about My Father God? About Jesus? About Christians? About the church? About my world view? My approach to the world, my mindset comes through in all I say and do.
Light shines. Light pierces darkness. Light makes manifest what cannot be understood in the gloom and darkness of this sinful world. Light is necessary for us to see clearly. Are we light givers to the world around us? Are you that trustworthy glow of a fully charged flashlight when the power goes out? Or are you a faulty dusk-to-dawn light leaving a dark corner for crime and mischief to flourish?
We have been given light, and therefore we have a responsibility to shine the light of Christ to the word around us. Let us be bright beacons for the wandering. Let us be illuminating lanterns that give a warm glow of truth, love, and comfort to all who come within our circle. Let us be a spotlight that boldly focuses the attention of all we meet on the One Thing of importance. Let us be the glowing billboard capturing people’s attention with the magnificence of the love of God. Let us be a flicker of a candle that helps others see truth through their dark situation.
Twenty-twenty vision requires light. Let us give that light to help others see.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12