I was really touched today and moved by a simple but meaningful gesture. Today was peculiar I’d say. I woke up to a friend of mine calling me at 7:30a.m. I was worried so I asked, “Are you okay?” but I was surprised by the response. My friend laughed and said “yeah I’m doing great, I just wanted to check and see how you were doing and I’d like to pray for you.” Hmm, pray for me? I thought…maybe I’m still half asleep. So I sat up and wiped my eyes and realized I was very much awake. I was touched to say the least. I thought it was a sweet gesture. I started my day smiling and whistling but soon went on in to my normal routine until…I got another call and then another. The next two calls were both from friends, both saying the SAME THING. “Hey Faith, how are you?” or “Hey Faith, just checking on you?” Then, “I’d like for pray for you”. So I have to admit, by the third call I felt like this was getting a little creepy lol. Wow, I thought, three people in one day calling to pray for ME? Not even with me but for me. I found it interesting and it caught my attention.
So what was my response? I went from being touched to being moved. I decided to call up a friend to check on them and to offer to pray for them. My friend was so overjoyed and encouraged. I could feel their smile. What stuck with me the most though is that after I had prayed they said they felt so loved…not by me but by God. Hmm, I’m not sure why that hit me so deeply but it did.
I began to think and I realized that light is very contagious. It spreads. It brings warmth and it casts out darkness. It is not meant to be kept or hidden but shown and shared. Light is so powerful. It brings peace. It brings healing. Even a smile.
Matthew 5:14-16 says,
14“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
God calls us to be a light to others on this earth. The best way to be a shining light truly is by our lifestyles. Sometimes we shine for the wrong reasons, with the wrong motives and represent the wrong things that are contrary to God’s nature and His purposes. What are you “shinning” for? What or whom do you represent? Have you ever asked yourself?
When we reach out to others it should be in love and not as an arrogant, prideful or judgmental critic. There is something powerful that happens when you speak life into someone else by planting a seed of positive words and encouragement into their minds and hearts, especially when they least expect it. It creates a ripple effect. Believe that most people are very aware of their faults, weaknesses and failures. It is not your job to broadcast them. I’m not saying never shed light on those things or not to discuss those things but don’t forget to highlight the positives you see in others. When you bring up things like weaknesses and faults also bring suggestions, solutions, or offer support. Don’t put others down and leave them there. Highlighting positives in others is so important. Do you know that many people are not even aware of their positive attributes and valuable gifts they possess while others may have forgotten about them because of such an overwhelming focus on the negative?
Know that you cannot scare, critic or debate someone into knowing or loving God. You can however give that person a glimpse of what God’s love and grace is all about by being an extension of God’s love and His grace. Sometimes you only have a moment with someone so choose your words and actions wisely.
Here are my BeAttitudes of being a Shinning Light-
Be godly-The more you pour your heart out to God the more He will pour out of you. The challenge is, you can only accurately represent someone who you truly know. So take the time to get to know God not only for yourself but so that others can get to know God through you as well.
Be Humble-Yes, thank God you have heard good news and that your life has changed but always remember where and what you were brought out of. God didn’t save you and bring you to the other side of that storm so you can gloat with your friends who made it and shake your head at those that have still not made it through their struggles. So role up your sleeves and start helping others get through as well. Nothing is more of a turn off than arrogance!
Be True- Hypocrisy is a huge reason why many people say they don’t believe in what “Christians” do or say. You can’t build trust with hypocrisy. Don’t say one thing and knowingly do another.
Be Real-Don’t be a “super” Christian haha. No really, be relatable. Now that you are a follower of Christ you are not superwoman or superman with special abilities to now speak “Christianese”. Face it, you still feel, see and smell as everyone else does but the difference is that your mindset and outlook has changed and how you deal with trials as they come your way is much different. If someone asks how you are doing its okay to say, “I’m doing well” or“it has been challenging lately but I’m positive, learning a lot through this period and trusting God.” Your response doesn’t always have to be “I’m blessed and highly favored” or “I’m saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost”. People will see that you are all those things by your lifestyle not your fancy Christian lingo.
Be You-God has crafted you carefully with your unique set of gifts, strengths and personality for a purpose. No two people are the same and it wasn’t by accident. Don’t be so fixed on trying to be just like a pastor friend or evangelist you know. Learn from them but mostly importantly Be you. God wants to use YOU as you are. You don’t have to be worried about your capabilities because God qualifies the called. As you are willing God works through you to fulfill His purposes.
Be Simple- I started off this post telling a story of a simple gesture that had a lasting domino effect. Sometimes being a light isn’t an extravagant missions trip to the 3rd world but perhaps a small gesture to friends, family and strangers you meet that can quickly spread through a community to your surprise. A quick word, a lending hand, a lending ear, your time…your example….your love; These are all ways of spreading light.
I’ll leave you with this…
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Our love will reveal to whom we belong, and what we represent . We are an extension of God’s love created not to merely shine but to be light to others.
I pray that God will give all of us, including myself, the humility, courage and strength to love, encourage and be a light to others.