How to let Your Light so Shine

How to let Your Light so Shine

Being a dedicated Christian is not easy. Even more so because our society is not a friend to God nor to God’s people. But as a Christian and believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are exhorted by the Word of God to let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

In Conflict with the World

Whether we like it or not, conflict exists between us and the world. Why? Because we are different and have different attitudes from the world. As we read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), we find that they represent an outlook that’s radically different from that of the world.

And here are just some of those differences:

  • The world praises pride, not humility.
  • The world endorses sin, especially if a person gets away with it.
  • The world is at war with God, while God is seeking to reconcile with his enemies and make them his children.

Letting Your Light Shine

The Bible tells us that we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), which gives us not only a great compliment because Jesus claimed that title to Himself when He walked this earth (John 8:12; John 9:5) but also a great responsibility to be light-givers.

Our concern should no longer be ourselves and we should stop living only to ourselves. Rather, we must focus on having someone to shine to and do it sincerely and lovingly. It’s high time we live up to what God has called us to do when we received His light.

The purpose of light is to illuminate and expose what is there. To properly put it to use, light must be exposed and allowed to reveal everything that’s hidden in the dark. Therefore, a light hidden under a basket is no longer useful.

Sure, there will always be the strong temptation for Christians to hide their light in order to avoid drawing the world’s attention to them which in effect would “expose them to the ill will of such as hate the light” (Bruce).

Be a Light to Everyone

The idea of a lampstand in Matthew 5:15 gives the sense that Christians are to be intentional about letting their light shine and let them so shine among all men. Jesus was inferring that the light that will shine from us is “good works.”

During Jesus’ ministry, He went about “doing good and healing everyone who was oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). Jesus simply did good everywhere He went, no questions about that.

What about us? What kind of good works are expected from us? The fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Having these character traits manifested in our life is a great indicator of the intensity of the light that we received from Christ.

How to let Your Light so ShineHave you heard the story of a young boy who refused to go home even after the Sunday church service has long been over? His mother took him with her one Sunday to church because no one was at home to be with him. After the service is over, he didn’t want to go home.

The mother spent hours convincing him but he refused and held on tightly to his chair. This caught the attention of the minister who approached them and asked what was going on. The mother was quick to reply that her son is having his usual tantrums and does not want to go home.

The minister smiled and asked the boy why. The boy replied, “I do not want to go home because at home my mother is treating me badly. Since she is much nicer to me here, I’d rather stay here for good.”

A sad story indeed! Christians are supposed to be light-givers first and foremost to their immediate family. A lamp is put on a lampstand in order to give light to all who are in the house (Matthew 5:15b). Here’s a quote from Spurgeon:

Bible Verse: Let your light shine

We are to be looking for ways to let our light shine in greater and broader ways which should start in our homes. Jesus wants us to live visible lives not for men to see how good we are, nor even see us at all, but in order to draw attention to the beauty of God’s work in us.

The object of our shining before all men is for them to see God and His grace in us and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16b).

Our Story, Our Purpose

Every born again Christian has a story. Every born again Christian has a purpose. Both your story and your purpose are given to you by God. And let me tell you, “No two Christians are the same.”

Many times I have been impressed by how God uses others. In turn becoming jealous and envious of them, rather than praising God. Many times I got critical of other Christians not doing enough for God. I realized, however, that both of these responses are wrong, so wrong.

How to let Your Light so Shine

We have to understand that God has blessed all of us, His children, with a specific story and purpose. That is the light or message God has given to each one of us and we must USE IT.

The demoniac had the opportunity to learn directly from Jesus but Jesus told him to go back to the Gadarene people and tell them what God had done in his life.

The Bottom Line

We can praise God for whatever story and purpose God has given to us individually. There is no purpose to be envious, jealous or critical of other Christians because we are not them. God has a purpose for you to do.

Don’t concern yourself with the purpose of others because that is not your business. Go live your life as a testimony to what God has done in your life. At the same time, expect some oppositions and persecutions as a result of living as God wants you to live – to let your light so shine before all men.


*Acknowledgment:

My sincerest thanks to Michael Heilman, one of the authors/contributors of this website, for helping me come up with this article topic and also with the last 2 parts of the article.

8 Replies to “How to let Your Light so Shine”

  1. What a touching story about the boy who didn’t want to go home. That’s a good example of why it is important to let your light so shine. 

    Unfortunately, I believe there are so many distractions in our society today that it makes people believe that being self-centered is the only way to live life. And sadly many Christians just neglect to understand the importance of letting their light within shine. 

    Alice, I appreciate you sharing this article and I pray that all who read it will ignite their light within.

    1. Hey Eddie,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      You’re absolutely right, there are a lot of distractions all around us today that at times setting aside our own personal interest becomes burdensome. However, as followers of Christ, we must always remind ourselves that God enlightened us so that we may also become a light to others. We received the Light in the person of Jesus Christ so we have the responsibility to share that Light to others.

      The word of God says, “We are the ambassadors of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20), we are here on behalf of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, so it is just proper that we let our light shine for others to be enlightened and come into the saving knowledge of Christ.

      Much blessings to you!

  2. I like your analogy of how a light under a basket is of not much use. I agree that we need to take action and be an example for people and not just live for ourselves. We should be serving people but not be too concerned about what they think of us.

    What is a time you let your light shine when you thought it was hidden?

    1. Hello John,

      You’re right, as the people of God that received His Light, we need to reach out to others who are still in the dark and let our light shine. And one of the ways we can do that is by being kind, loving and caring for them even if they are hostile and unkind to us.

      When we let the fruit of the Holy Spirit operate in our lives, we are showing people that we truly have been transformed from the darkness into the light. It won’t matter anymore what they think and say about us because all we care about is illuminating them with the light that has been given to us.

      Was there a time that I thought my light was hidden when I was actually letting it shine? Well … perhaps I can consider those instances when I did someone a favor without necessarily letting them know about it. It’s human nature to desire the approval of others that is why we value so much what they think of us and will do even stupid things just to gain their favor.

      Thanks for your comment, God bless you!

  3. There’s a saying : that Light shined so bright that darkness couldn’t comprehend it. 

    Invariably, We should show positivity to the World and by so doing evil will be eradicated. 

    Also, for such a selfless task to be functional, Let’s all start with our immediate surroundings, neighbors, friends, family and loved ones. 

    Lets make the world a better place. 

    1. Hi Jane,

      What you quoted is not just some kind of saying; it’s John 1:5, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” This is part of the introduction of the apostle John about God Himself coming to the earth He created, in the flesh (Jesus) and will dwell among us.

      And if we are to continue with the passage, John tells us that Jesus is the Light – the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world (John 1:9). Jesus is the Light and everyone who becomes His follower will receive His light. This light that Christians receive from Jesus Christ must not be kept hidden. Instead, it must be put on a place where it is allowed to shine so bright for those in the darkness to see.

      I agree, when we let our light so shine starting with our immediate surroundings, we will expose all the works of the evil one that are operational in the dark.

      Blessings!

  4. A very eye-opening awareness. I have always followed the Bible, as the answers I am seeking are always there for me to find.

    I agree with you that there is no need to be jealous of other Christians. There is enough God to go around for everyone. He has made himself avail to all of us.

    What I really love is God is always trying to bring us closer to him, no matter how much we have sinned. 

    Excellent writing you have as it has brought in more understanding than before. 

    1. Hello Jag, thank you for your comment.

      You’re absolutely right, the Bible has the answers to all of life’s questions. All we need to do is read it, meditate on it and ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to grasp and understand what God is telling us.

      Yes, being jealous of other Christians on how God is using them as a light to other people can sometimes be seen as something negative. So instead of feeling this way, why not use it as a motivation or driving force to keep seeking the Lord and living our lives in accordance to His will that the people around us might see the good works God is doing in us and glorify our heavenly Father.

      Jesus did not just suggest we are the salt and light of the world; He imperatively told us that we are and as such, we have the responsibility to let our light shine for all those in the darkness to be enlightened.

      God bless you more.

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