Read Matthew 5:16
I’ve found myself in some pretty secular settings. I think all too often, we, as Christians, bubble ourselves and don’t put ourselves in positions to talk with people who need Jesus. On one hand, you have church where you are one of several hundred believers, and the other, you are the outcast because you are a person of faith.
Such a setting was when I worked at a local restaurant which, at least during my employment, was known for being a sketchy place to be, much less work. Because my mindset was just to put in hours to pay for my online schooling, I had tunnel vision when I first started.
However, our reading today talks about the value, and command even, for believers to let their light shine so that people may see Jesus through your actions. Here I was, going to Bible school and finding myself in the midst of homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers, idolaters and the mix.
I had a choice to make.
I could remain tunnel visioned or I could open up and allow my actions to reveal the God to whom I have surrendered my life.
The more I was around my coworkers, the more I found that they were simply … people. Sure, they had (very) different priorities in life but they were still created in the image of God.
Just as light illuminates a dark room, you have great power, because of Jesus in you, to shine a great light into the lives of the lost.
What does “letting your light shine” look like? Well, I can tell you what it doesn’t look like. It absolutely doesn’t look like Bible-thumping people into submission. If I were to walk up to the gay guy and unleash a fury of Bible verses and condemn his lifestyle and demand he repent on the spot, how do you think that would go?
When I was at a co-worker’s house and someone pulled out marijuana and asked who wanted to smoke, what value would it be if I sprinted out of the house, screaming, “Lord, deliver me from evil!”
Let me be very clear: This isn’t saying that we need to participate in sin. However, if you want to reach the lost, go where they are. Live like a surrendered follower of Christ. Live by a different set of standards. Communicate love and care to those around you and take advantage of moments to share the reason for the hope that you have.
You’ll be surprised what doors open up as a result of your God-like example.
Knowing that I was going into ministry, a couple of co-workers said that they would go to a church that I was pastoring. By the way, one of the guys had a visible tattoo of a burning Bible. What about the guy that I was able to share the gospel with who was living with his girlfriend? What about the outspoken atheist I was able to get breakfast with and boldly talk about my beliefs?
Light is only effective if it is in the midst of darkness.
Are you staying in a bubble? While not giving in to sin, what can you do to surround yourself with people who need Jesus?
You may be the only light someone ever experiences.