I want you to imagine complete darkness. Think about darkness. Darkness is scary. It’s unsafe. When in darkness, it’s incredibly difficult to navigate our lives. But now I want you to imagine a light in the darkness. A dim candle. Maybe a lamp or a flashlight. I want you to notice not just beautiful and attractive light becomes in darkness. But also how incredibly important it is to help lead you and guide you. How necessary it is to keep you safe, give you a sense of direction, warn you of sudden dangers. Now imagine many of these lights all over the place. You could change a culture, help a city make its way back home.
Now why am I saying this? Because that is what Christianity is meant to be. In 2 Corinthians, Paul is telling the church that God is building a family and He’s grabbing all kinds of people from all walks of life.
2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
This is God’s plan for the world, that He might turn the lights on inside of us that we may see His light. But not just so that we can see His light, but that our lives may be illuminated and be a light to the world. That our lights would shine for all to see so that you can light up the house, light up your city, light up your workplace, your family, all those around you who do not know Christ. To be a light is to live a different life, a Holy life set apart.
Okay, so you’re probably sitting at your computer or with your phone thinking, “that sounds nice, but how do I realistically “shine?” I could sit here and tell you to be a light. Okay, awesome. How do we do that? Paul gives us direction on how to be lights, but lean in closely because you might miss it.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing…” What!? Thats it?? Yep, lets keep reading. “that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
What? That’s so anti-climactic. Because it’s something we can actually do. He doesn’t say “If you want to shine like a light give all your money to the poor.” He doesn’t say “fast for 40 days and move to a third world country.” He says, “Stop complaining.” “Stop being so critical.” It’s so anti-climatic because it sounds so easy, or is it?
There’s an article in the Huffington Post that did a study that found 40% of all of our conversations is complaining and criticizing. 40%, what!? That’s crazy. But think about it, your house is a mess, you complain. Your husband is late from work, you complain. You can’t find anything to wear, you complain. You’re eating lunch with a friend and she says she hates the food and complains, and you agree with her even if you like the food!!! I challenge you, for the rest of the day try not to have one complaint and see what little you have to say.
You’ll never be able to shine light unless you first see the light, and are filled with His light. And that’s a daily question between you and God. But my encouragement to you is wherever you’re at, you have a world around you who have a chance to see the light in you. So if you’re a mom out at the grocery store, maybe a nurse or an admin assistant, maybe you serve in the army or are a barista at the local coffee shop… Whatever you do, wherever you’re at, I encourage you to shine like a light. Say a little prayer every morning to ask for God to fill you with a spirit of thankfulness, so that you can see the blessing in moments even when you want to complain.
Maybe, at this point, you’re realizing that over the past months, maybe even years, your light has gotten dim and it’s time you feed your flame. But just know from one broken Christian to another, we’re all in this walk together and we serve one faithful Father. Feel encouraged today as you go out into your world and shine like a light.
Monica Stutz is a simple Jesus lovin’ Christian girl living life in San Diego. Her and her husband, Weston, got married in June 2014 and immediately walked into the life of full time ministry at Skyline Church. They are passionate about building the local church and leading people closer to Jesus. She loves being a wife, pastor, sister, friend and hopes to one day start a little family of her own! You can find Monica on her Instagram account.