Written by: Vivian Wilson
I just spent a week with nearly two hundred brothers and sisters in Christ. We worshiped together, we ate together, and we served together, making life a little better for some who were in need. It is much easier to spend 24/7 with like-minded people, people of faith, than it is to spend even one day in the world, in terms of how we relate to others in such a way that we prove that we are light in the Lord.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are a light in the Lord.” Eph.5:8
The theme of the camp was LIGHT-BEARERS.
I have spent a good bit if time reflecting on my UM ARMY experience last week, and I have asked myself these questions,
- Does my light shine for the world to see?
- Practically speaking, what does that mean?
- What does it look like to shine the light?
It is in Christ, who indwells us in the person of the Holy Spirit, that we are light, that we are even able to shine. I think what shines are the attributes and characteristics of God. In Galatians 5:22-23, we read that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
When we love others, as we are commanded, putting them before our own interest, we shine.
When we have joy and contentment in spite of difficult or unpleasant circumstances, we shine.
When we have peace in the midst of trials, we shine.
When we are patient in the midst of chaos, we shine.
When we do random, unexpected acts of kindness, we shine.
When we show goodness, we shine.
When we are faithful to Truth and Righteousness, proving to be people of integrity, we shine.
When we are gentle in the midst of anger and bitterness, we shine.
When we have self-control in the midst of the battle between the spirit and the flesh, we shine.
When we display grace rather than a critical or judgmental attitude, we shine.
And when we humbly serve others, we shine.
“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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”
Jesus tells us to let our light shine. It seems to me he says we have a choice: we can let it shine or not. We can let our light shine brightly all the time, or we can choose to dim it at times.
When I was with fellow light-bearers, there were a lot of bright lights. But when I came home and resumed life pretty much as I left it, having to be in the world, I noticed how easy it would be to be a dim light. Because last week, there were fewer distractions that would cause me to take my eyes off of Him and put them on myself.
In the real world that we live in, I find that it is essential to stay in fellowship with Jesus by prayer, worship, and praise in order for my light to shine the brightest, because then my focus is on His will and not mine. I am able to see the opportunities that He provides for me to do the good deeds that will shine before men and bring him praise.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!