Originally published Saturday, 15 November 2014.
Light. I wasn’t so sure about my light. They say to let your light shine bright, but it wasn’t working for me quite right.
Shining bright led me down roads of anxiety. I would think, “I’m making them uncomfortable. They think I am crazy. I look like a show off. They think I’m a mess. I’m talking too much.”
Shining my “light” illuminated my vulnerabilities – and highlighted my insecurities. It left me fearful.
I know that Christ calls us to shine his light, but why is it such a fight?
I was in a mom’s bible study. We were there to grow in love of the Lord – to share his work in the midst of the craziness of motherhood, his encouragement when we felt despair and his grace in failures. As much as I was looking to be loved and accepted, I wanted to shine an encouraging word into each of their hearts.
God had been transforming my soul in awe-inspiring ways, so I was eager to share. He had been teaching me about trusting him – about reaching outside of myself, stepping outside of my comfort zone and about letting go of things I clenched so tightly. He was teaching me to let him work out what was his to work out. God was teaching me in a powerful way.
But, as I stepped into the spotlight of vulnerability, a dark cloud cast a shadow over me. I questioned, “Is my story even good enough? Am I overwhelming them? Can they handle all this “Jesus talk”? Am I a “know-it-all”? Do these ladies even care?”
I left the group defeated and discouraged. I went in with a flame ready to ignite the group’s passion for the Lord, but I left with burnt ashes in my wake.
I was confused.
God, I heard your call. Why did this happen?
After much soul searching, I realized I hid my candle – out of fear of judgment. The light still remained in my soul, but I took my eyes off of God.
I placed the value of my light on the women in my sight.
Instead of the one and only God who works with power and might.
I missed the chance to shine him bright.
Because I was afraid of my own light.
The truth is, God’s glory, his radiance, and his brilliance are not dependent on the responses of others. He is who He is. And, He will be who he will be - independent of me.
It is impossible for darkness to extinguish light. It will always shine. It will always be. It does not depend on reactions, perceptions or judgments. It just is.
Even if your flame is hidden, it is still there. It stands ready to shine. We may feel nervous about it or unsure about it - but it is there - and it is powerful. It is the very power he works within us to shine the glory of Jesus Christ in present day life, circumstances and relationships.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6 NLT)
To hide his light, to squelch its power – is to hide the saving and redeeming work of Jesus Christ. When we do this, we hide the work he has set forth for us to do. But, when we live based on the light that is within us, we are truly living. We are in his will. We are living with purpose and with power. We can see the way we should go. It is amazing. It is powerful.
10 Ways to Let Your Light Shine Bright:
1. Remember your aim is to please the Lord, not man.
2. Speak in ways that are right, true, honorable and trustworthy.
3. Listen to others opinions. Be slow to anger and quick to listen.
4. Decide if others are pulling you into sin. You may need to retreat and bless them through prayer.
5. Realize that Christ has already determined your value - now you are free from the need to please.
6. Authentically praise the name of the Lord when given the opportunity.
7. Pray! Pray! Pray! Trust that God will lead you in his ways.
8. Speak truth - no matter what. Balance it with love.
9. Be who God created you to be, despite how others feel. God created you as you for a good reason.
10. Daily immerse yourself in the Word of the God.
When we shine light – when we let our light shine bright – God sends it into dark places. We may not even know the distance that our light will shine. He will send it far and he will send it wide. Our job is to keep our eyes on him and trust him as we let him lead.
People will judge us, but his truth will lead us - it will set us free.
Never be afraid to shine too brightly for the one you love; for the light within you is set to light the world on fire with a love of Christ. Let your light shine bright.