We’re just past the Christmas season, the time of year when people start being kinder, more generous, more thoughtful and more loving, and reaching for the new year. More people give out of the goodness of their hearts, with the intention of receiving nothing back, shining their light (God’s light) in darkness, and forgetting about the cares of the world for even just one second because that’s what God’s light does for a person. And for many people, including myself, the start of a new calendar year (although nothing about the physical change of a calendar makes a change of heart) signifies a fresh start and grows a resolve to do better and be better in the next 12 months. These two ideas are closely tied together.
I have to admit that the idea to write this post came from wearing the message “Shine Your Light” on a t-shirt made by Blair from Blair Blogs (it’s amazing what wearing Truth will do for your attitude, by the way). Though I always try to be a light to the world, heading in to the new year, I’ve been meditating on and actively pursuing being a light-shiner (aside from chasing joy) even more. All of us have the potential for kindness and love to shine from our hearts and positively impact people along our paths. God made us with the incredible potential to pursue light and be light, to shine His glory in every circumstance, and He gave His Son so that we would have the opportunity to reach that potential!
Every good and perfect gift comes from the God who has no darkness in Him at all (James 1:17 & 1 John 1:5), and the choice to shine His light shows that His people are real and are longing to reflect Christ and be like Christ. If the very God we worship has no darkness in Him at all, how could we ever choose to hide that? If we are truly His people, how could we ever choose to spread our earthly darkness, whatever that may be, instead of radiating His life-giving light? Christians have the responsibility to shine Christ, the ultimate Light, on the ultimate darkness that’s increasingly growing in the world. We have the responsibility to speak only what builds up, to spread joy, to share truth, to be good stewards of all He’s given us, to be responsible with His word. Nothing about being on this earth is about us — it’s all about giving the glory to God and bringing the lost to Christ, and that’s why our Christian lights are so very important. If we’re not shining His light, what are we communicating and are we glorifying God? Without shining His light, we’re only magnifying ourselves instead of our Creator, and we’re essentially saying that God doesn’t truly matter to us, which is exactly what the enemy hopes for.
Although the kind and cozy holiday season is ending, we should still work to be kind, generous, thoughtful, loving, and Christ-like people all 365 days. The holiday season shouldn’t be the only time we choose to reach out to others and shine our lights with whatever talents we have.
“One of the greatest blessings we have is hardship.” – Paul Hutcheson
I recognize that shining your light isn’t going to be easy 100% of the time. But, I also recognize that it’s worth it 100% of the time. Shining your light is hard, holy work that brings about beautiful results. It’s a responsibility that God has the expectation for us to uphold in any season of life, with any blessings or challenges — as a matter of fact, sometimes our lights shine the brightest in our darkest hours. Jesus’ light (who is the Light) shone incredibly bright throughout His life on earth, but that light’s climax was when He sacrificed Himself on the cross, His darkest, most tragic moment, for you and you and you and me. Sometimes, when we want to give up more than anything, when we want to throw it all out of the window, get rid of any hope we had to continue in the light, but we choose to press on through difficulty…that is when others truly see Christ, and see that He, not circumstances, is the Lord of our lives.
So, next time you want to give it all up or you’re afraid to keep going through the hardest season of your life, remember the souls you could impact for Christ — that even their souls are worth your pain. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, what you’re going through, what you think can’t do, you have a light worth shining. Remember that trusting Him is better than trusting yourself or the world or your possessions. And remember that being with God is worth more than earthly comfort.
“When I’m zoomed in on my fear, I can’t see the faithfulness of God and the steadfastness of His covenant.” – Amanda Bible Williams, She Reads Truth
Choose to be a life-giving soul instead of one that drains. Choose to put away fear and comfort and show Christ through you. Choose what’s good and right and holy. Choose joy and choose light.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Thank you for reading! I hope you’re always encouraged to be like Christ and learn more about God’s word when you’re on my blog. If you want to see more like this, feel free follow me on Twitter, Instagram , and Pinterest. Feel free to print, pin, and share my posts on all platforms; I only ask that you link it back to this site. For thoughts and questions, comment directly below or click the Contact Me tab (here) to send an email! Have a blessed day.