I’m not proud of it, of course, but it’s true nonetheless.
I had accepted Christ, but did not have a relationship with God. When I heard people proclaim that Jesus is the light of the world, it simply did not register. Without that foundation, I stood no chance of being a light for Christ in a dark and fallen world.
That’s why I walked past the switch to turn on God’s light in my life for 22 years and missed the chance to illuminate God’s magnificence for others to see.
Like so many other things in my faith walk, everything changed in a spiritual maturity class at Saddleback Church where I learned that being a light for Christ does not require our perfection. Though dim in the beginning, God’s light coming out of my life began getting stronger and stronger. All to God’s glory.
God has helped me figure out that Christians are called to blaze a trail of his light for others to see and follow. It reminds me of the lamplighters of rural villages in 19th Century England. As dusk settled in, the lamplighters would scale one lamp pole after another and leave a trail of flickering lights for the village to see.
That’s it. We are to be God’s lamplighters.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Once I learned that we are to be vessels carrying God’s light into a dark world, I got serious about making that a reality in my life. Here’s what I learned…
Our light must shine because there are people right now, real people living in darkness, who will never find God except through us. And they are “evaluating” Christianity on the basis of what we show them—both our “happy times” on the mountaintop and “down days” in the valley, too.
Being a light for Christ in a dark world is a matter of 1) making a prayerful commitment that must be renewed continually; and 2) keeping vigilant watch over how we are living our life and the state of our connection with God.
For me, reaching those two goals takes an ongoing, intentional effort. Here’s the guide I created and use every day to that end:
- Truth in love
- Edifying language
- Listen/Slow to anger
- Authentic, no facades
- CAUTION! Money/Materialism
- CAREFUL! Movies. Music. TV. Social Media.
- People we spend time with
Keeping an eye on the areas listed above helps me watch how I’m living my life and make sure I don’t walk past God’s light switch without flipping it on.