You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before others around you that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15
I’ve noticed that really good lighting costs money. How many times have I purchased a cheap desk lamp only to lament, “I still can’t see!” There’s nothing like a quality light fixture. It reduces eyestrain and makes work a joy.
Why would we, as light-bearers, want to give off ineffective light? The world has eyestrain as it tries to look for our influence against the backdrop of their darkness. It isn’t to be found or it’s so faint that the light makes God appear to be a weakling.
Each of us was given a gift and the gifts, used correctly, radiate perfectly. There are three ways I can handle my gifts.
- I deny I have any. Maybe no one has ever helped me discover them because I grew up in a home where children weren’t defined. Perhaps I was told that I was inept at a certain thing when I was really gifted. Parents give skewed messages all the time. I can often think it’s humility to deny my giftedness but it’s really denial. The world suffers from my self-imposed darkness based on self-deception.
- I recognize my gifts and see them as catalysts for my own glory. I gain attention because of them. I assume places of leadership and leave quite a stunning legacy because of them. While I may believe they burn brightly, the light is really a false light. God does not bless selfish uses of my gifts and therefore gets no glory.
- I recognize my gifts and I humbly offer them to God for His service. I know what I’m good at but also understand that any eternal value will be absent without the wind of His Spirit fueling each gift. I have no clever plans to use them for myself. My dream is to make God great and my spiritual gifts are means to that end. Oh, when that is in place – how it illumines my world.
Light draws and light also repels. The correct use of my gifts will give glory to God and appear beautiful to those who are looking for Him. But the proper use of my gifts will also shine so brightly that the glory of God will not be attractive. I never know which reaction it will incite. But this I know ~ when the Spirit of God shines through us, we know that we were created for such a time as this.
I was born to showcase Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen