Be the light.
How many blogs, memes, sermons, Instagram posts and other social media platforms have you seen this quote used on? I have seen it used SO many times in many different places but I still love it. I love this phrase because of the verses that it stems from. I loved seeing it posted on a random wall in Seattle. I loved it so much that I asked my friend to snap a photo of me posing next to it! Then, I started to think about how heavy these words truly are. Seeing these words posted in the middle of this big city, full of people walking by and snapping random pics, really got me thinking about about my own light and how bright it shines. Does my light even shine? Do people see me as “set apart”? I wish I could say that my light is always burning bright but the truth is, there are days you wouldn’t even know I was a Christian.
After this feeling of conviction set in, I decided to look up the most popular verses about light and I stumbled across John 3:19-21. It was already boldly highlighted in my bible with bright yellow marker just asking me to read it.
The verse says;
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their dees will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
I then started thinking about the most obvious natural source of light, the sun! The sun is so bright it lights our planet at 92,958,412 miles away. Holy stinking smokes! It’s SO bright, that it even shines on the moon and provides us with a light in the darkness. Did you know that the moon only reflects 3-12 percent of the sunlight that hits it?! The brightness of the moon on earth also depends on where the moon is in its orbit around the planet! So it can appear to be more bright during different seasons, depending on its position.
Guys, after reading all of these facts, I came to the conclusion that I am in fact a moon.
Now let me explain this- I can’t be the sun because that is the source of light. For me, my source is Jesus.
John 8:12 records Jesus words about this subject. He says;
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
HE gives ME the light that I need, but only if I choose to follow him.
I relate so much to the moon because the only way I’m able to shine is if the source shines on me. There are some days I’m in position to reflect the light more than other days. And, unfortunately, there are times that I only reflect a small percentage of light.
I think something that sets me and you apart from the moon is that we can reflect as much or as little light as we want to. We don’t have to only reflect 3-12 percent. We can actually move closer to the source and allow Him to make us even brighter!
Matthew 5:16 reads
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Another thing that sets us apart is that we can receive and reflect light from other sources than the sun. I’m talking about light from anything that isn’t the natural source. Like light from a bulb that we can turn up and down. Light that’s like the joy we share with people that we get along with or the smile we flash to our friends and loved ones when we are happy. Nice words that we can exchange with people that benefit our lives.
We have a choice to be like the moon and only reflect the natural light, received from the truest source. This is the light that steadily shines even when things don’t go our way or when we are with others who can’t reflect the same light as we do. We can’t help it, we have to shine this light when situations come up that don’t favor us because we are in view of the source.
“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”
Jesus tells us that our light is to be set apart. To be supernatural. It should shine even when bad things happen, even when others are ugly toward us, even when we’re mocked and made fun of. Even when NO one else will shine with us, when there would be no proof of the darkness we’re taking part in.
If the world didn’t have a moon how could any of us see in the darkness? If your friends who don’t know Jesus don’t have you shining how will they know who he is?
More importantly, if we don’t have contact with sunlight, where are we receiving light? If your source is anything but Jesus, the savior of the world, it will be like a light bulb, burning out quickly and easily, gone with the flip of a switch. YOU have to be close to the source to shine. You have to position yourself in such a place that He can shine on you so that the darkness will not overcome you. Are you hiding in the darkness so that your actions won’t be seen? Are you prioritizing this darkness above the light that wants to find you and guide you? If you’re claiming to have “the” light but you’re living like everyone else, please be careful. You could be leading your friends astray. You could be showing them a false gospel. This is so dangerous, but unfortunately, so many of us choose to do it.
My hope in writing this is that the next time you see these words written on a blog, wall, book, etc, you would stop, bask in the importance of these few words and ask yourself “am I really shining? Do I need to move so that I can receive the sunlight necessary to do so?”
I know I will.