…by Michael Switzer
On a personal note, I’m struggling with being a light to the world….
Sunday’s message of light the world has to couple with last week’s message on being the salt of the earth. They go hand in hand. I’ve struggled a lot with these two concepts at work these last few weeks. I wish I could say I’ve got these two parts of being a Christian figured out and working well but, in all honesty, I’m falling short.
As I ponder how to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ to/of the world, I see being salty as the one who people enjoy and feel comfortable being around. As the light of the world, I should model my actions with respect of God’s ‘life’ in the world. What does that look like practically? In being salty, I ask ‘how do I genuinely AND authentically engage everyone I see on a daily basis?’ Would I want to be around me? There are most definitely times I’d want to hit myself over the head for acting condescending, disrespectful, or just flat out rude. How could I ever make any impact (with the exception of a negative one) on anyone’s life by acting like that? Despite continual reminders like the 3 Monkey message series, I still find myself at work on everyone’s case and at home ignoring my friends. Sometimes I just need to get over myself.
As for being the light of the world, I ask ‘in what ways do I genuinely AND authentically live my life as a Christ following model?’ This question goes beyond simply being liked and requires us to engage the world in ways that demonstrate love, forgiveness, fellowship, awesome work ethic, faith, and wellbeing. As Christ followers, it seems useless at best to live a life of merely being liked while not living a lifestyle indicative of our convictions. When I’m not grumpy and on everyone’s case, do I just blend in? If a co-worker or friend takes an honest assessment of my life and daily decisions, will he or she have any idea I follow Christ? Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself in situations at work dealing with things from sexual jokes to talking behind peoples’ backs to a host of other actions that are the darkness of the world. Even if I don’t contribute or add on to the crudeness of the situations, isn’t the darkness still present? If a friend is headed down a dark path, I’m no better if I say “but at least I didn’t push him faster.” Being a light means stepping outside of ‘comfortville’ (in some cases ‘lazyville’) and stepping into the place we pour out all the blessings God’s given us and Christ-centric views in which we believe (while trying not to pass through alienationville). I don’t think this mean being crazy about our stance; it does mean our friends and the world see what we stand for (so to ultimately know and glorify God).
Being the light of the world essentially means giving those around us a piece of what God has so graciously given to us. A lot of us needed to hear this series. What a difference we’ll make creating authentic relationships founded in truth and light. Or is that ‘Connect in relationships where truth meets life?’ 🙂