My Grace-Full Life

4.9.21 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Shine

TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 NKJV)

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• My family has a long-standing tradition of insomnia that goes back for generations. Twenty-three years ago, I even gave birth to an insomniac, continuing the family legacy through my son. Yet something happened in my genetic profile… The generational sleeplessness skipped me… I am a mystery to my family because of my ability to sleep soundly for eight consecutive hours. 

Except for Monday night.

I think it was a combination of too much afternoon coffee (I exceeded my normal two cups) and the neighbor’s motion light.

The coffee was my fault. The light is another matter.

I have a complicated relationship with this light, which our neighbor installed last summer. It’s over their garage, which faces our driveway. So we benefit from the added security. Yay! But one of our bedroom windows faces the light too. When I’m sound asleep, it’s fine. But when the alarm is going off at 5 AM, and I just want five more minutes of sleep, it’s frustrating when the motion activator is triggered. Since the sensitivity is so high, I’m convinced it turns on when a leaf twitches. 

It occurred to me that Christian living can sometimes be like that motion light. What triggers our light for Christ? Is it being with our other Christian friends? What about the times when we’re not? Does our light for Christ “go on” for some people and “turn off” for others? Is it possible to remove the triggers and just let our light stay on all the time? Isn’t that the better way? The way we should live?

These are the questions I pondered as I lay awake on the couch this week… (and discovered that the neighbor’s motion light goes off way more than I realized and can also be seen in the living room on the other side of the house…)

As Christians, light isn’t optional. Jesus said that if we decide to follow Him, we no longer walk in darkness (John 8:12). The opposite of darkness is light, so the question of whether our light should go on and off is a moot one — we should let that light shine like the Griswolds’ house at Christmas.

But why do we let the light dim or even turn off in some situations? Are we embarrassed? Afraid we’ll get in trouble for proselytizing at work or school? Worried others will think we’re weird?

Jesus said that no one lights a candle and hides it under a basket, but lets it shine for all to see (Matthew 5:15), and He reminds us, “Let your light so shine before men,  that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). I don’t see that as a suggestion. “Let your light…shine” is a definitive statement.

We are imperfect people, and sometimes, we forget that man’s opinion of us is far less important than God’s. We get caught up in the “what will they think of me” game. We get trapped by ideas that are seemingly insignificant, forgetting that our decisions can have eternal ramifications.

What if, by turning our light off in certain situations, we miss the opportunity for someone else to know Christ? What if, by leaving our light on, they become curious and seek Jesus for themselves? Both options can make an eternal impact…

No one is saying that a light left on for Christ means obnoxiously hitting people in the head with a Bible. But if we live according to the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control — Galatians 5:22-23a), well — those qualities thrive in light. You can be a witness for Christ without saying a word. And no one will judge you or condemn you for such things because, as the rest of verse 23 tells us, “Against such there is no law.”

So today, make it a goal. Stop letting triggers adjust your light. Simply shine for Jesus, no matter where you are or who you’re with.

Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being the Light of the world. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reflect the light of Jesus and be a light for all who need to know and be encouraged by His goodness.

SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.

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