“Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed to shut out the light? Of course not! A light is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.” Mark 4:21
We are called to let the light of Jesus shine through our lives. We are commanded to be light to the darkness. But so often it can seem as though we aren’t having any impact. And a possible reason for that is that we are getting lost in the light from other Christians.
Here’s an experiment for you to try. If you have a torch function on your phone, activate it the next time you are at church (if it doesn’t, go and get a proper old-school torch and use it instead), and see how much of an impact the light from it makes on the overall brightness. Then at night go outside and activate the same torch, and see how much of an impact it has on the light level. Unless your church is having electricity problems you should notice the light from your torch has considerably more impact at night in the darkness.
And that’s how it is with us as Christians. When we let the light of Jesus shine it has considerably more impact in the darkness than in areas which are already illuminated by brighter lights. And yet so often that is where we spend most of our time shining.
We let the light shine when we are in the comfort of church, YF, small groups or in our group of Christian friends. Yet in these occasions so often our light can get lost in the light of the overall Christian glow. We waste our efforts shining in areas that are already bright, while outside the doors of our Church there is darkness, at the pubs and clubs our lost friends are going to there is darkness, in the life of that girl from school that no-one talks to there is darkness. And yet we concentrate all our collective light in small areas that already are bright anyway. And the impact of individuals is lost.
So maybe the question isn’t are we shining, but are we shining in the right places. Because Jesus said “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do” (Mark 2:17). Likewise people who are saved don’t need us to shine bright for them, but the lost do.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we can neglect fellowship with other Christians. But we should view fellowship as a chance to recharge before going out into the world to shine for Jesus, rather than seeing it as the place where it is safe to shine.
Because when we go into the ‘dark’ places and shine it will have a much greater impact. People are more likely to notice us shining when there aren’t other sources of light for us to get lost in. So today strive to find your ‘dark niche’, the friendship into which you alone can shine with Jesus’ love. And once you have found it, shine in it!