When I was a young mother, I had taken my two year old into the restroom in an out-of-town cafe. As we were just about to leave, a young woman said to me, "You're a Christian, aren't you?" When I replied that I was, she said she could tell by the way I spoke to my child. Even though her comments made me feel good at the time, I knew that most mothers - whether followers of Christ or unbelievers - speak kindly to their two year olds. My words that day didn't necessarily identify me as a Christian; they may simply have meant I was having a good day! Of course a Christian should be kind, but there has to be something more.
In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." So what is it that makes Christians the "light of the world" and easily identifiable to others?
The answer can be found deep in the heart, like the heart of someone I know. She’s a wonderful lady, committed to the Lord, and a fellow teacher in the school where I taught years ago. She is kind, loving, gentle, patient, joyful – each fruit of the Spirit so much a part of who she is. Her goodness is effortless, nothing forced or insincere. Her faith in Christ, evident by her joy in living, has touched many people. She truly has been Jesus’ light in the world, a light that has drawn others to her and to the Lord.
The difference between her and those of us who profess to follow Christ, yet keep this to ourselves, might be summed up in the words of a favorite author, Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie. He writes: "You can't miss a living Christian any more than I could miss that city (set on a hill). Our challenge is to keep our minds filled with the truth of Christ and our emotions fired with the warmth of Christ, so that we will attract the people around us with His quality of life. There is no such thing as secret discipleship. That is a contradiction of terms."
The mind of my friend is filled with Christ’s truth and her heart fired with His warmth, so Christ’s light can’t help but radiate from her. May the Holy Spirit work through Christian Crusaders to fill us in the same way, so the world – like moths drawn to light on a summer evening – can’t resist what Christ has given us.
Hide it under a bushel? No!
I'm going to let it shine!