This month’s verse is inspiring, beautiful, and a nice idea…but it’s so much more than that, too. These are the very words of Jesus, and He’s pointing out something that’s completely, painfully obvious, so that we’ll see how ridiculous it is to keep God’s grace all to ourselves.
Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.
Mark 4:21, NLT
How to Let Your Light Shine
Jesus talked about putting a lamp or candle on a stand right after he shared the parable of the sower, a teaching about bearing fruit and being transformed by God’s word. We want to be the good soil that produces an amazing harvest! So what’s the change of metaphor about?
I think Jesus really wanted to drive the point home that we were made to shine His light, and if we’re healthy, that’s exactly what we’ll do.We were made to shine His light, and if we're healthy, that's exactly what we'll do. #shine #verseofthemonth #mark4:21 Click To Tweet
Here are ways to make sure you’re more like a candle on a stand than one hiding under a bed, probably setting fire to the mattress and causing all kinds of side eyes from the fire department. #youdontwantthat
1. Be Open to Others
A candle that’s a light “unto itself” is, well, dumb. So those of us who want to live out our purpose should be open–not one to hide or conceal ourselves, hoarding God’s grace out of fear.
Now, you guys, I’m the introvert-iest of introverts, so I want to make a distinction here. I don’t mean that you have to have a certain type of personality to shine your light. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, or the life of the party, or the girl who shouts her feelings from the rooftops. You don’t have to share your entire story with everyone. But be open to others.
Invite others in, make yourself available, be gracious, don’t judge those who are different from you, don’t close yourself off to certain types of people or groups of people, and be willing for God to use you in every situation.
2. Be Yourself
Jesus doesn’t say to grab somebody else’s candle. He says to shine YOUR light to those around you, and to let YOUR good deeds shine (Matthew 5:15). Not everybody has an easy time of shining their own light. It’s not just the insecure, immature, young people who need this message–some of us simply have a personality type that’s prone to fitting in, and it can cause some problems.
So ask yourself these questions and remember the answers.
- What sorts of things and places make you feel happy?
- What kind of personality types do you identify with the most?
- What music makes you dance?
- What culture are you in love with?
- What makes you mad?
- What topic can you talk endlessly on?
God wants to use you, in all your uniqueness, through the things you’re passionate about. It’s absolutely essential that you know who you are for God to use you as you are.
3. Be Transformed
Okay, so I’m telling you to be yourself, and also to be transformed. It’s not my fault, I’m just naturally confusing. God loves who you are and He also gives you the ability to do things you think you can’t do. He gives patience to tired moms, wisdom to the foolish, and a clean slate to those who’d written on it with a sharpie.
He’s the light of the world, and we’re fumbling in the dark without Him. Instead of condemning us, He’s making us holy. Spending time in God’s presence makes you reflect His glory. He transforms all our darkness into light.
4. Be Blindingly Bright
You don’t have to try hard, wearing yourself out or working at being something you aren’t in order to shine. If you follow Jesus, you’re glimmering already. But if you’d like to really blind the world, be yourself, allow God to change you, and be gracious.
Want to join me in memorizing this month’s verse? July’s memory card is a pretty rose gold and navy, and it works well in planners, Bibles, stuck to mirrors, and more!