You Are the Light of the World...So are You Shining?
"You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine out for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
~ Matthew 5:14-16
A few decades ago a young American Christian traveled to Crete to hear a famous World War II Greek general speak about Jesus. The old general spoke for three hours. Now, even if you’re famous, after three hours of speaking, people are ready for you to be quiet. So when the general finished and asked, “Does anyone have any questions?” No one said a word...except the American.
This young man, throughout his life, would always raise his hand when someone would ask “Does anyone have any questions?” When the teacher or lecturer acknowledged him, he would say “Yeah, I have a question. What’s the meaning of life?”
What usually followed was some laughter, and then everyone would get up to leave. As you can guess, when the Greek general acknowledged the American, this young man instinctively replied, “Yeah, I have a question. What’s the meaning of life?”
Everyone chuckled and began to leave. But the general raised his hand, motioning for everyone to sit down. “That’s a good question, let me show you.” With that, everyone gave the young American a dirty look and sat back down.
Meanwhile, the military man had reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Opening his wallet, he slid out a small circular mirror. Holding it up, the general said, “When I was a young boy during World War I, I used to go out exploring after planes bombed the countryside.”
“One day,” the old war hero continued, “as I was walking, I came across a bomb crater with a mangled motorcycle in it. Part of the motorcycle’s side-view mirror was shattered, so I took a piece and sanded it until it was perfectly round. I then would try to catch the sunlight with that mirror and shine it in dark places. I would go home and catch the sunlight coming through a window. I would try to direct the light to a dark corner of the room, a part of the room I knew the sunlight had never touched.”
“You see, that is the meaning of life,” the general continued. “Our life is to reflect God’s glory into the dark places. Places filled with people who have never seen the light.”
With quick movements, the wily speaker caught a ray of sunlight pouring through a window and angled the beam so that it struck the American right in the eyes. The general asked again, “Do you have any other questions?”
In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul tells us, and all of us have had that veil removed, so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.
As Christians, we need to be asking ourselves, “How brightly am I shining for God in the world?” If we were created to be reflectors of God’s glory, then there better be some “shine” coming off us.
There is no doubt that God’s glory shines wondrously bright, so if what we reflect is dull and pale, whose fault is that?