Put the big light on (Salt and Light Day 2 of 2)
Peter Kay jokes about how his family refer to the ceiling light as the BIG LIGHT as if it is some monstrous obstruction. (If you’re bored before the end of reading this, just search “Peter Kay big light”). Jesus tells his disciples not only that he is the light of the world (John 8:12) but that we are too!(Matthew 5:14)
I commented in my last post that it could be that you are / I am the only contact that some people have with the church. Their idea of a Christian, their idea of God, could be based on you. If you missed the 2 points on salt, check them out and leave a comment!
Today, two points about light, PLUS five ways you can be salt and light this week!
Light is Visible
I’m not saying here you should go out of the way to get yourself noticed! But if you are adding flavour to your environment, whether it’s your home or wherever you spend most of your waking hours, God should be seen in you. You might not be aware of it but at some point, if you are living a Spirit-led life, someone will tell you they see something different about you (in a good way!) As we were about to move from our last home, our neighbour took us out for a drink and pressed us for information on what it is we’ve got that he hasn’t: “This is my last chance to ask you!” If someone knows you’re a Christian, be aware, they are watching! What do they see?
Light is a Guide
As we build relationships outside of our cozy Christian culture, and as people begin to trust us, because they have witnessed first hand our honest, visible Christianity influencing our surroundings for the better, it’s inevitable that people will eventually ask your opinion on some issues. Here I hold two seemingly opposing verses in tension:
“…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.’ Luke 12:11-12
I take this to mean, be prepared in your heart but don’t script the whole thing. Be always open to God leading you to the point where you are able to share something of what God has done for you. But don’t worry about the words – God wants you to rely on him.
When someone asks for a listening ear, or shares a problem, or wants to know what you think about a situation, don’t worry if you haven’t prepared an answer for that particular question. Inwardly ask God to speak through you. By faith, share what’s on your heart. And keep listening both the the person’s responses, and to God’s inner voice!
Finally, here are the practical action-steps I am working on in my own life…
Five ways you can be salt and light this week:
- Above all, love. Love your neighbour as you love yourself. This will add flavour to their life and guide them toward God. Surprise a friend or colleague with an unexpected act of kindness that would demonstrate God’s love. But don’t spoil it by following up with annoying Christian cliches about what you just did!
- Express this love by being an inquisitive listener. Take a genuine interest in other people. Don’t just talk about yourself!
- Ask questions. Show people you are interested in them by asking questions that require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This takes practice for some of us!
- Be there. The world has seen enough hypocritical Christianity. If you have a friend who needs once in a lifetime help, don’t tell him you can’t because you have a church small group!
- Be authentic. If you’re struggling, admit it. Let your unsaved friends see how you handle the same issues they go through. Let them see that the difference you have is not that you live a trouble-free life, but that you have God right there with you in the struggle.
Now, I want to hear from you. What have you found effective ways to be salt and light in your surroundings? What story might encourage other readers? Answer below!