Be the light has become a popular saying. People say it to inspire others to be kind and to spread that kindness. This is not a new idea and it comes from the Bible. Jesus is the true Light of the world though, and without Him, we cannot be a light in our dark world. In scripture, we are told several times to be a light. What does it mean to be a light?
"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
So, how do we shine Jesus' light? Being a light in a dark world means that we choose love over hate. It means that instead of condemning the way non-Christians are living we show them the truth of God's love and grace. When a fellow follower of Jesus goes astray we confront them in love with the hope of bringing them back to the flock. It means that instead of getting revenge or even with people who have harmed or hurt us we choose to forgive them and let God handle it. It means praying for those who do us wrong, instead of cursing them. We shine the light of Jesus when we care for those less fortunate, mourn with those who mourn, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
"This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin" 1 John 1:5-7
In order to shine God's light, we must stand for the truth! There is truth in this world and it comes from God. We cannot choose what is right and what is wrong, but we can follow God's guidelines in the Bible. Being the light means choosing to do the right thing no matter the consequences. One way we cannot be the light is by being like the world. How can we possibly be the light if we are accepting the darkness? Being the light means living like we are children of light because that is what we are!
"for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord." Ephesians 5:8-10