Christ admonished us in Matthew 5 to "let our light shine." We can share the light that is in us through our words, through our appearance and through our actions.
When each of our children attended preschool, it seems they all learned the song, “This Little Light of Mine.” The first verse repeats the refrain, “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine,” three times. This is exactly what Christ asks each of us to do in Matthew 5:16 when he says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works.” Christ is the source of the greatest light and we are expected to reflect his light in our words, our appearance and in our actions. When we share his light through us in these ways we can lead others to him.
Letting your light shine through your words
Buddha said, “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” (Cameron Wright, The Rent Collector)
Proverbs 15 provides great advice on how the words you speak can be used for good or evil: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:1-2)
As a follower of Christ, your words should not be vile, vulgar, deceitful or hurtful. When you speak you should speak as he would. You should want others to see him in the words you speak. Your words will share your light.
Letting your light shine through your appearance
Recently, a YouTube video by Jessica Rey speaking on the evolution of swimwear went viral. In it, she shared a study conducted at Princeton University which used brain scans to see how men reacted to scantily clad women. In most cases, men viewed the women as objects.
How you dress reflects how you are perceived. George Whitefield said, “The great and important duty which is incumbent in Christians is to guard against all appearance of evil.”
Dressing neatly, cleanly and modestly sends the message that you respect yourself as a child of God. Allison Stevens wrote the following about dressing modestly: “When we dress modestly, we are saying that we possess inner qualities for which we should gain appropriate attention and value from others.”
Letting your light shine through your actions
John Locke said, “I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” You can claim to be a true follower of Christ, but if you do not demonstrate it through your deeds, your actions and your behavior, no one will believe you.
In Matthew 25, the Savior shares the parable of the sheep and goats. The sheep, he says, will inherit his kingdom because they served him by serving others: “Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) In other words, it is how you behave toward others and provide needs when they are seen that best demonstrate your love of the Savior. Your actions will share your light.
When you use language which is uplifting, when you dress showing respect for your body and others and when you demonstrate through your actions that you are a follower of Christ, you show that, “Ye are a light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14) The world has enough darkness and others need to see the light. Do not hide your light. Put it “on a candlestick” so it can give light to all around you. (Matthew 5:15)
Robyn Carr graduated in English and is the mother of five and grandmother to one. She currently lives in North Carolina.