I am on the Internet informational group, “Neighborhood.” On it people complain and express opinions and inform one another of local happenings—wrecks, town meetings, animals in the area, and thefts, for instance. It’s an informational page that is often a place to vent. I like the information it provides, and occasionally I look at the rants–they reveal the condition of our society.
Yesterday, someone posted a story about a daughter who works in the restaurant service industry. A customer lambasted her. It was a Sunday, and the malicious people had obviously come from church. The young girl, who was working to save money for college, went home undone—broken. What a testimony to the love and grace of God!
Scripture teaches us that we, the children of God, His family, are lights in the world. We are to accompany God on Christ’s mission of offering grace and kindness, truth and mercy to a world that is covered in despair, darkness and deceit. Our best light pours from us as we are attached firmly to Christ in daily worship, the word, prayer, and loving, mutual intimacy with God. Abiding in Him produces fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This is the light we are supposed to shed. WE are to broadcast God’s beauty as seeds in a world trapped in darkness.
It breaks my heart when my precious Lord and His Family are defamed in these ways. Jesus said that light can’t be hidden. If we are full of light, we cannot hide it. It will shed abroad. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” That’s what happened in the early Church. They were full of loving testimony and a behavior that lit the universe. People wondered, “What kind of people are these who are turning the world upside down?” They were indeed, “shining lights in the universe.” However, if our light in the world is darkness, how dark are we? Are we in the light at all? Can a tree bear both good and bad fruit? If we are disciples of Jesus Christ, our light should be growing more intense as we reflect the beauty and glory of our magnificent Lord and Savior.
I know, we all sin. (At least I do.) Our hearts are impure, and we get angry and put out from time to time, but we can still attempt to make the world a kinder gentler place. We can seek God when we see the rottenness in our bones, and minds, and hearts. We can cry out for mercy and help. We can come before our loving Father and tell him our lives don’t reflect well on the Family. If we are guilty of contempt, impatience, cruelty or harshness, we can apologize and repent before God. And honestly, because our behavior reflects badly on Christ and his Bride, we must also repent to those we’ve sinned against—if we are made aware of it. O, dear Church of God, please let your light shine—not in rules and regulations, opinions and demands, but in Christ-like love, truth, and gentleness. Our world desperately needs this light.