Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

“You are the light of the world. A city built 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.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

What does it mean when Jesus says, “let your light shine before others”? Well, I think the answer is found in the rest of the sentence.  Jesus says that we should shine our light, so that others may see our “good works.”  Notice that Jesus doesn’t tell us to talk.  Talk is cheap.  He calls us to do.  Jesus tells us to show our faith through our good works – by what we do and how we act.

My daughter goes to school with a young lady whose father is a pastor. Out of the blue one day, this young lady said, “I really love Jesus.”  Now on the face of it, that sounds very sweet.  Except this young lady isn’t very nice sometimes.  So my daughter, rightfully, assesses this young lady based on her actions, and not her words.  This young lady may very well love Jesus, but so what?  Unless that love is evidenced in her actions, her words ring hollow to those who hear them.

This issue is exactly why people get annoyed when Christians put fish bumper stickers on their cars and ask everyone to have a “blessed day.” That is all well and good, but no one cares about your words.  What matters are our actions.

We as Christians could take a lesson from my Iranian Muslim neighbors. They could not be more generous.  They often offer us herbs from their garden.  In the summertime, if I or my husband are working in the yard, they always stop to admire our efforts.  If we stop by their house, they automatically offer us tea and cookies – and you can’t say no!  They are such kind and good people.  They are living their faith.  Not just talking about it.

If we want to follow Jesus’ calling to be the light of the world, then we have to shine in how we treat others. We have to be the type of people who are kind to other people, animals and the planet.  We have to be the type of people who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

I work with a gentleman who is a light in the world. He always is available to answer any questions I might have.  On occasion he sends me an email to check in on me and see how I’m doing.  Recently, he told me that he went into semi-retirement.  He now works 3 days per week, and then works for his church the other two days of the week.  I wasn’t in the least bit surprised.  His actions already had made clear to me that he is a Christian.  His good works shine very brightly.

As Christians, we are called to be a light in the world. That doesn’t mean running around telling other people that their religions are wrong.  That doesn’t mean telling everyone within earshot how much you love Jesus.  That mean showing your faith by what you do. If your light shines by your good works, then you will attract others by your goodness.  They will want to know more about you.  They will be curious as to why you are different.  And if they ask, then by all means tell them, “Jesus called me to be a light to the world.  I hope I have been a light for you.”

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