We're supposed to let our light shine for all to see right?
A light in the darkness, a guiding light, a light that shines more and more until the final day.
But I wonder, how many of us check our alignment, to make sure our light shines correctly?
I find driving at night a bit more difficult than it used to be, and more hazardous.
It used to be simple. Driving on the left hand side of the road at night, you look to the left when there is oncoming traffic. (If you happen to be reading this in a country that drives on the right hand side of the road, then obviously you would look to the right). You turn your eyes away from the oncoming glare, in doing so you retain your night vision. And there's that handy mirror that you flick up to dim the light from following vehicles. But it's not that simple anymore. There is an increasing number of vehicles on the road, mostly 4WD's, SUV's, people movers, that all have their lights set up high in the bodywork. Now those oncoming and following lights are at eye level. Add to this, the proliferation of brighter types of lights, halogen, LED and the like. Driving conditions become have blindingly hazardous.
But it's not just the lights or the cars themselves.
A lot of cars have their lights badly adjusted. A car used to get inspected periodically, and the light adjustment was checked. Now it seems sufficient if the lights just work. It doesn't seem to matter if one of the lights is permanently aimed into the eyes of an oncoming driver on full beam.
Then there are the increasing numbers of cars I see without any lights on at all. It seems that we live in such a well illuminated driving environment, that some drivers are unaware that their own lights cannot be seen.
They simply assume (or so it seems) that if they can see, then they are also seen. But I do appreciate how easy it is to do this. Coming out of late night shopping centres with their well lit carparks, it's easy to forget. Then we plunge onto darkened roads, and the lights still aren't on.
I wonder how many Christians go through life like this?
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus said. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." (KJV)
I want to draw your attention to this little word, "so". It means, "in this way".
It 's the manner in which you allow your light to shine.
The purpose of the light is to bring glory to God.
The light should never be directed at ourselves.
It should never be hidden, or left off.
It should never, ever, be allowed to shine in such a way that it causes offence.
It should never annoy or distract.
But I know, it's so easy some times. we step out of our brightly lit church environment, and we assume our own light is visible. Sometimes we act in a moment of zeal or perhaps immaturity, but we cause offence or distract. Sometimes we caught up in passion and excitement and forget, it's not about us.
A friend of mine, Lyn Packer, recently wrote on her prophetic encouragement page that "we must disappear, so He can appear."
We teach our children to sing "this little light of mine" but the problem is, it's not our light, not really.
The Apostle Paul said "I know that in me there is no good thing".
We don't actually have a light we were drawn from darkness into light.
We have received light that has been given to us, we are not the source of the light.
It has been entrusted to us.
We must "walk worthy of the one who has called us".
It is our responsibility, to ensure that the light that shines from us, is properly directed, lighting the path so that others may follow.