I have known several godly people in my life. Their gentle natures and God focused lives are even now an example to me. Brother Dominic, a Benedictine monk and my wife Dianne shared this virtue of being lights to the world even in their overwhelming humility.
Here are several inspirational quotes on this theme, and I hope we can learn to live them.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house (Matthew 5: 14-15).”
Letting our light shine, or more exactly letting God’s light shine through us is not a matter of purposeful religiosity. The Scribes and Pharisees had that. It is more living in relationship with God, and the Spirit will shine through you. It isn’t pretense, it is surrender.
‘If God is the centre of your life, no words are necessary. Your mere presence will touch hearts’ Vincent de Paul. De Paul captured the idea of Matthew 5 well. Our very actions speak to others. “Godly is and Godly does.”
And our actions are not meant to be for the purpose of the thanks or praise of men. Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23).” Remember it’s about our relationship with God.
But again, this isn’t about religious showiness. It was phrased well my Martin Luther, “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” Just as it said in Colossians, not for man, not for ritual, but truly for God.
Our walking the walk, will nevertheless impact others. In fact, our lives may well be the only introduction to God some people ever receive. “Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me,” D.L. Moody said. We are read, and scrutinised. Billy graham worded it this way, “We are the Bibles the world is reading; We are the creeds the world is needing; We are the sermons the world is heeding.”
This principle is biblical. Paul reminded the Corinthians that, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. . . . (2 Corn 5:20).”
So, “More depends on my walk than talk” – D.L. Moody.
But again, this is not artificial, it is about relationship and dedication to the Lord.
As Shannon Adler put it, “Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.” Drawing others to God, now that’s letting your light shine indeed!