“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).
Are you a Light-Under-A-Basket Christian? A Clandestine Christian? A good gal or guy but people don’t know why?
A lot of Christians are Clandestine Christians. They want to conceal the fact that they are Christians because it might be uncomfortable for them or others . More often than not, I am! And, sometimes, maybe you are too…
In the previous three parts of this series of meditations, I wrote about letting your light shine as a Christian. But, in contrast to the first three, this meditation is about not letting your light shine as a Christian.
In no uncertain terms Jesus admonished us to put the light that is in us on display for people to see. He wanted us to shine His light on people. He wanted us to shine His light in dark places. And, He wanted the light that shines through us to be a light that shows the way to Him.
But, when I don’t let my light shine, then I don’t do right by those to whom I should be a shining light. In fact, following the metaphor Jesus used to its untold conclusion, I might actually be limiting, restricting, impeding, or even preventing another person from finding the Light, from knowing the One who is the the Truth, the Light, and the Way! Because that person didn’t see the Light in me. Because I hid the Light from that person by not shining light.
So, Jesus was saying that if you don’t cover a light, then it illuminates the space it is in. But, if you do cover a light, then it can’t penetrate the darkness. And the absence of light can darken, obscure, obfuscate the Truth, Light, and Way!
If you’re a Christian, then you’re “on the hook” to shine the Light in you on others. But, too often, I let myself “off the hook.” I make excuses why I can’t or shouldn’t shine. “I can’t talk about religion at work.” “They will think I’m a fanatic.” “They will think I’m a hypocrite.” “I don’t want to offend anybody.” “I don’t know the Bible very well.” “Anything I say or do won’t make any difference anyway.”
Don’t hide the light of Jesus that’s in you. Don’t be a clandestine Christian. Shine! Shine bright! Shine always!
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB)