The Lord Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world. We are a light meant for people to see and benefit from. To drive home the point, He even said that people do not “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.” (Matthew 5:14,15) We are light. We are to shed light for Christ. We are to bring the light of Christ to the people He puts us in contact with.
There are many ways to shine for Christ. Hee are three ways:
In Matthew 5:16 Jesus tells us to “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” To shine for Christ is to do good to others. This day and age has brought forth an abundance of scammers and deceivers in society. It seems no one sees good Samaritans anymore and even if you genuinely want to do good, cautious people will be suspicious. But we are to do good anyway. Indeed, we may be the only Christ people will ever see. In doing good, we introduce Christ to people. We forge openings for people to get curious about Christ because of the difference they see in our lives.
Life is busy. It is filled with preoccupations and responsibilities. Christians must make time for doing good. God’s children must save energy for doing good for others. Christ followers must keep an eye out for simple day to day opportunities of brightening someone’s day. It may be by helping an old lady get an item way up on a grocery shelf. It may be by retrieving a fallen object for someone who dropped it. It may be by opening or closing a door for somebody.
Resources are hard to come by. We need to work hard for the things we need. We need to save up for necessities. But Christians are to be known for generosity. All throughout Acts we can see an overflowing generosity among believers. They gave to God’s work; they gave to others; and people recognized their giving and glorified God in the process. Back then, they were unafraid to give all they had and they were blessed to see God work in miraculous ways to sustain their household.
Today, we may practice responsible and wise giving, but we give all the same. Don’t just spend all you earn on yourself and your family. Purpose in your heart to set aside a definite amount you will spend for the benefit of others outside your home. You may buy a book to help inspire and encourage someone at work. You may get some useful items for a neighbor next door. You may personally bless a regular visitor in church with some treats. You may keep some pre-paid coffee or food vouchers to give away to people you come across with.
Scriptures tell us to love. In Matthew 5:43,44 Jesus reminds us to love not just our friends but even our enemies. We all have our ideas about love but the kind of love that Jesus talks about here is one that “desires the highest good of another.” All people need to feel the love of God and we can help with that. True, humanly speaking, it will be hard to afford an enemy or offender the same intensity of love we have for someone very dear to us but we must practice Christian love all the same. And we can do that in many ways. We can show patience and mercy instead of lashing out in criticism and rebuke. We can suspend punishment and consequence and allow a wrongdoer the opportunity to amend his ways or make up for the error he has committed. We can choose to speak kindly even if the other person is harsh. We can choose to maintain our cool even if another person is very irritating. We can grant second chances. We can love the lovely and “abrasive” by being good-natured towards them both. We can choose to forfeit opportunities of retaliation or “vindication” and remain “discerningly” accommodating and kind towards those who rub us the wrong way.