Being a Christian is such an incredible gift from above, but it is also a challenging one. When you are open about your walk with the Lord, the judgement coming from all around you (and within you) seems like it's never-ending. At least that's how it feels to me at times. If I fall, I get after myself, and often feel that if others notice, they do the same. I also get caught doing the same to others, no matter how hard I try not to. It's something I struggle with, and something that I work each day to do better on.
This week in the 52-week Bible study that I'm following on Facebook, The Growing Season by Sarah Philpott (if it sounds familiar, it's because I helped on the launch and am loving going through it week-by-week!). Somehow the Lord placed this week's chapter hand-in-hand with this blog post that I had planned for this week.. but am just now writing today because I've struggled hard with what to say.
Page 25 in The Growing Season: A Year of Down-On-The-Farm-Devotions by Sarah Philpott
As Christians, we are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14-16 says, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." These are also the exact verses Sarah uses in this week's chapter, and they just hit home.
I sometimes feel as if I fail at being a light because of my downfalls, and let negativity just eat at my soul. That is NOT in my eyes being a light, or showing others around me the light of Jesus and all that He did for us. I'm not hear to preach that we have to be positive all of the time, but I myself know that I need to work on being positive more of the time. Focusing on loving more and letting that love shine bright and help others to know that Christians aren't perfect, we have bad days, but we do work hard to follow the Word of God and be a light for Him.
My favorite quote from Sarah's devotional this week is, "We were designed to illuminate the world with the light of Christ. Our good works and kindness and Christian attributes point folks to the power source of our internal light--God. Good works aren't our salvation, but they are part of our evangelism. Our lights shouldn't be hidden." Isn't that pretty? Particularly that last sentence. Our lights shouldn't be hidden.