...and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23).

An online interactive spiritual publication for the strengthening and building up of the Kingdom.

01 June 2010

Light of the World

"Ye are the light of the world."

We read that verse a lot and probably pass over it without giving it much thought beyond the fact that we are to be an example to the world. Perhaps looking at it in a more literal light (no pun intended) would help us in our understanding of our relationship to the world.

Christians are to be set apart, for sure, but we are to be the ones bringing light to the world. If we consider the world and all of its evils, cares, and problems to be darkness, we will be light in our goodness, lack of anxiety, and solutions.

I'm sure everyone has a friend or acquaintance who tends to be negative. The Eeyore character from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories is a good example. No matter what, Eeyore can always find the negative in a situation. Perhaps we are sometimes that way ourselves. It is easy in a world that is dealing with fears, political issues, war, economic uncertainty to be negative and dwell on what we do not have. Years of peace and plenty spoil us, and the times such as we have now are ones when we need to understand our place in the world.

We are the happiness of the world. The only true happiness is found in Christ Jesus, so it makes sense that Christians who are doing what they ought and being who they ought would be the way true contentment is shown to the world. Similarly, we are the peace of the world. If we are the calm in the center of the storm that is called this life, people will notice. The gospel is the power to save. Consider that term. SAVE. There is something from which the gospel will save people. There is something from which we should want to help save people.

We should not feel comfortable here. It is easy to get caught up in our jobs, physical things, politics, money, and other earthly concerns, but if we are truly pilgrims in a strange land, we will always be looking to the next life, where we will have no such concerns. People should see this peace in us. Do we worry daily about how our country will prosper economically in the global marketplace or fare politically in warfare? Will our friends in the world see in us people like them, who worry about elections and strife instead of trusting that God will see us through regardless of what happens?

We must bring peace to the world. That peace is not peace that allows for sinfulness or evil, but that shows that truly following God will bring peace to one's soul. Along the way there will be troubles, but as long as we are following Him faithfully and trusting Him and having the right attitude, we will not only be pleasing Him by doing what He asks of us individually, but also by showing our lights to the world. He has put the gospel in our care to share with the world. Will we share it and share the peace that comes with it to a world that is riddled with problems, or will we selfishly keep it to ourselves and act as if we are no more trusting in God than our worldly friends?

The next time you are in a conversation with someone and the tone turns to something negative in this world that we can do nothing about, consider being the light in a way that might not seem obvious at first: don't just teach people about God through your words. Show them by your actions. What will people see in us if we have faith in God and yet do not show our faith by a peace that is real? If God's Truth does not soothe us anymore than living worldly lives would, why would anyone in the world ever be interested in what we have.

We have been given a gift, dear sisters, and it is the power unto salvation. It is not negativity. It is not gossip. It is not stress. We have been given peace that passes understanding, and we must treasure it and share it with everyone we know.

Sarah L. Longhenry
December 2006

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