Let your light shine

In recent weeks, every news source has been filled with updates on protests happening around our country.  NFL players have been involved.  NBA players have been involved.  Average citizens have been involved.  It seems each person would like to know that his/her voice is being heard in the awakened battle against ethnic prejudices.  Each person who is protesting has a view about prejudices that he/she desires to shine brightly.

Before I move on, I need to clarify I do not believe there is such a thing as “racial prejudices” because God created one race, the human race.  Every person that breathes is humanity, therefore, part of the same race.  I do believe there are many “ethnic prejudices” in our world; a sad reality of the brokenness of humanity.

As followers of Jesus, we have much to learn from the people who are engaging in these protests.  The methods are not going to be part of the discussion, for methods are one of the things that split churches.  If we could get beyond the negativity that is broadcast on the news, I think we would hear a message of care.  I think we would hear, from certain people, a message of love.  I think we would hear a message that screams people matter.

I will not engage in whether protesting is proper and right.  The principles that wish to be communicated are proper and right.  Care.  Love.  People matter.  Every one of these principles was communicated by Jesus.

John 12:46 says, “I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness.”

The first thought I have about this verse is that we have a choice to make.  If we claim to follow Jesus, we can no longer remain in darkness.  If we walk away from darkness, there are certain things we no longer do.  There are certain places we no longer frequent.  There are people that can no longer be our best friends because the most influential people in our lives have to be people that walk away from darkness.

As you go through your day, I encourage you to be writing down 3 things that attract darkness in your life.  We all have them.  If we are to overcome them, we have to put them in front of our eyes.

The second thought I have about this verse is that when we no longer remain in darkness, we come as a light into the world.  We let our light shine!  There are multiple things that allow our light to shine, but a few allow our light to shine brighter.  Care.  Love.  People matter.  Some days, I am not that good at doing this, but I’m learning what it means to do this better.

As you write down 3 things that attract darkness in your life, I invite you to write down 3 ways that you can care for people better.    Here are few of the ways I care for people better.

1.  I work with my door open as much as possible.  This says that I am available and I care about you.

2.  I do not use headphones when I sit in a coffee shop.  I have had so many faith conversations with random people simply because I was sitting in a coffee shop with my Bible.

3.  I make it my mission to be friendly to cashiers.  People generally are not nice to those in customer service, so I want them to enjoy that I went to their checkout lane.  It might not seem like much, but friendliness says that person matters.

What are some of the ways that you intentionally care for people?  How does your light shine through the journey of life?  Does your light broadcast the right principles?