“You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord’s people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light, for it is the light that brings a rich harvest of every kind of goodness, righteousness, and truth.”Ephesians 5:8-9 GNB
Walking in the dark can get you into trouble – you can stumble and fall, bang your toe, or bash your head. All of us are drawn to the light because light paves the way for us to move safely. The world we live in, in a way, is very dark – the erosion of core moral values and family life, the “me” mentality, and relativism are among the current trends that are not of God. And the world we live in gets darker every day. The darker the world gets, a small source of light stands out even more – and is more crucial. In the midst of the darkness, God wants us to be the light of the world. So, no matter how dark our environment is, people around us should see some hope and encouragement – if we live like the light in the darkness. Do you see yourself as a light-bearer in this dark world? What happens if there are many “lights” in your situation?
So How Do You Become Light in the Midst of Darkness?
- Live a respectable and reputable life – no hypocritical or double life. Little by little, grow in holiness and character like Christ’s. Be patient, kind and loving, but do not aim to be a people-pleaser; be a God-pleaser. Aim to be respected rather than be liked by others. Actions speak louder than words; before you can say anything, people tend to look at your behaviour and attitude. Be able to sleep well at night, knowing you lived the day in good conscience. Live as if you will one day account for your life – because you will.
- Choose to do the loving thing. Loving others is easy to say but hard to do. Your ability to love is limited; seek God’s love, patience, and forgiveness when yours ran out. See how loving and forgiving God is to you.
- Avoid arguments; be open to sharing your opinion with others without being apologetic about it – only if your opinion is asked. Do not generalise and be judgmental, but be kind and considerate of others’ views. Start your sharing with “this is my view about it…” Your opinion has more weight if you have the reputation and the character – being loving, patient and considerate, etc. – to back it up. Your goal in sharing your view is not to prove them wrong or yourself right, but to bring them closer to Jesus. Consider sharing why you believe in such a way, or how you used to believe the same way as they do, and why you changed.
- Know your faith well. You do not need to be a theologian or a philosopher to explain your faith, but you need to know the basics and the “whys” of your beliefs. Learn and practice how to share the basic gospel message. Practice sharing your personal testimony with others. Seek opportunities to share your testimony – it is something they cannot dispute or challenge.
- Know that God calls you to be a light bearer in your unique situation at this time and age. Be faithful to your call. Ask yourself: how can I be a mini-Jesus in my family, work, school, church, and community? How can I work with other light bearers around me, so together we can produce an even bigger light?
Other Scripture passages:
- “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, 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 who is in heaven. [Matthew 5:14-16 ESV]
- Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. [Colossians 4:5-6 ESV]
- Other references: Romans 13:11-14; Philippians 2:15-16; 1 Peter 2:9 and 1 John 1:5-7
For personal reflection or group sharing
- How do you make a difference in your workplace or school? Do people around you see a difference in you, or are you “one of the crowd?”
- Do people around you see the light of Christ in you?
Top image of a praying hand on an open bible with candle light in a darkened room, from bigstock.com, © by Ale-ks, stock photo ID: 7290393
Tom Caballes is a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with seven branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters [with his son-in-law and grand-daughter] live in Wellington, New Zealand.