2004-04-22 - Under a Bushel
Matt 5:15-16 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (KJV)
If you walk into a dark room, what is the first thing you typically do? I start hunting for the light switch so I can turn it on and light up the room. To most of us this is immediately obvious. Thanks to Mr. Edison we have the gift of electric light, and the darkness in our homes, cars, offices and streets is no longer a problem. Unless there is someone sleeping in the room you don't want to awaken, the idea of not using the light switch is silly. The ability to see obstacles can prevent a fall or at least a few stubbed toes.
I was talking with an associate. We were discussing the things we felt were important to succeed in life. My friend's assertion was that knowledge was one of the main keys. I agreed with him adding the proviso that required the ability or willingness to use that knowledge. He agreed, and I think the point is fairly clear. If you are reading this message, I must assume that you, or someone close to you, has the ability to read and probably to write as well. These are common tools in our civilization. In America, we are sent to school to learn these things at an early age, if we were not already taught by our parents before we started school.
What if, for whatever reason, you decided not to exercise these tools or reading and writing? I'm sure the idea is ridiculous to you. However, consider having the ability to do something as fundamental as reading, and for fear of making a mistake, a person would refuse to read. Of course we make mistakes when we are learning, but that does not stop us. We keep trying and soon the task of decrypting the words and characters from a page happens almost without thought.
So, why do we treat our Christianity differently?
Many of us do. We allow the frustrations, or the weeds of everyday life to cover over the life that lives within us. Now, this is not to say that there are not days that will get us down, or simple exhaustion wear us down, or sad news will not grieve us. But, the day to day grind should not take us and turn us into powder. We know the joy of God's salvation and His Son, Who came willingly to save us from being eternally lost. We hold a treasure in our hearts that the world around us is starving to know. Instead of showing that power and light, we allow the little trials to wear at us and to become a bushel basket that covers our the light.
You have the potential to be a light in a very dark room, in a dark world for that matter. Be willing to tap into the power that is offered to us. You might be surprised at how many people will ask what is different about you, or be impressed with your presence or character. These are keys that open doors to share the source of the light they see, that is your faith. If they scoff, you can remind them that they asked what was different, so there must be something to it all. The message will not always be received. But the receiving part is not your job. You are supposed to shine as a light. You have done your part. Pray that the Holy Spirit would open their hearts and minds to receive, and keep on being a light.
Grace & Peace,