Light, Let Us Be Light

Light, Let Us Be Light

We don’t draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it. (Madeleine L’Engle) 

Did you know the word “light” is used over 200 times in the Bible? I think the symbolism of light in the Gospel is so spot on, so representative of Christ’s walk and teachings, that to use His word as anything other than a beacon is wrong.  Yep, I said it.  Wrong.

It is wrong to shine a disparaging light on others simply because we feel we’ve got this whole Christian walk figured out.  Like a hunter waiting camouflaged in the woods, some Christians look for that lost deer to walk across their path.  When it does, on goes the light, blinding the deer, leaving it frozen and afraid.  The onslaught begins and Biblical bullets rain down, injuring the deer and ultimately causing it to run for its life in the opposite direction.

I remember vividly the first time I witnessed Christians spotlighting an unsuspecting deer.  It was in my high school Biology class, during those last few minutes before the bell.  The teacher sat at her desk grading papers while the students chatted freely until dismissal.  Two boys in my class, one a pastor’s son, the other his best friend, discovered another classmate’s Catholic background. For days, the two boys questioned our classmate’s faith.  They believed so strongly in the “rightness” of their own religion that they viewed all aspects of his as wrong.  They readied their verses, and they fired.  Again and again.

As a bystander, I wanted nothing more than to rescue the deer.  To get him out of there. To get him to safety.  My feet finally moved when the hunters began to assure their prey of his eternal damnation to Hell.  I spoke up, as did others.  Sadly, though, our words had little effect.

Unfortunately, divisive light shines brightly in the Church today.  Christians spotlight Christians. Believers spotlight unbelievers.

The real danger lurks beneath the surface of a genuine belief that these types of behaviors are justified.  Many turn to verses which speak to the believer’s responsibility to confront sin.  Please hear me…I absolutely feel when we see someone we love falling into the deep crevices of sin and immorality, we should reach out to the loved one.  We should fall on our bellies and extend our hands down into the cold depths, begging those we love to grab hold.

Notice I said “reach out.”  Reaching out is the Biblical model. Reaching out requires relationship.

Jesus reached out! He didn’t spotlight; He didn’t gossip; He didn’t finger-point; He didn’t demean; He didn’t seek self-righteous elevation by shining His holy light on the sinful for all the world to see.

No, Jesus reached out to those who needed Him the most.  He dined with them.  He sat with them.  He walked with them. He touched them. He conversed with them.  He healed them. He saved them. He loved them.

While Jesus reached out to the sinful, he berated the hypocritical.  He took hold of the hunters’ flashlights and turned the rays back into their faces.  Matthew 23 depicts Jesus’ disgust with religious hypocrisy.  His anger is tangible.  His message is clear.  The religious cared more about saving face than saving a soul.  More about self-promotion than self-sacrifice.  More about legalism than virtue.  They climbed up on their seemingly perfect, self-elevating walls, spotlights in hand, and waited to shine the beams on anyone who broke the law.  Do you know how Jesus addressed these people?  Woe to you.  Over and over, woe to you.

And I say, woe to those who use the Bible as a weapon against people who’ve been caught unknowingly in the glare of their judgmental light.

Woe to those who gather evidence and proof, hanging God’s word like a chain around the necks of their targets.

Woe to those who taint the gospel by weaving slurs and hate-language into God’s word.

Woe to those who are so busy shining the light on others, they fail to search the shadows of their own hearts for the imperfections which hide there.

Jesus calls for us to be a light in this dark world.

I love Isaiah 58: 9-10:

“Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. ‘If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.’”

We need to shine our lights like a beacon.

Like a lighthouse to a ship lost at sea.

Like a nightlight to a child scared of the dark.

Like a porch-light for an unexpected visitor.

Like a candle on a table for two.

Like a sunrise after a long period of rain.

Let us be light to the lost!  Let us be light to each other, lights “so lovely” others will “want with all of their hearts to know the source” of our radiance.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This