In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
We need to stand up for Jesus, and we need to do it in ways that glorify Him instead of us. Confession: I struggle with this because I feel strongly about many things. Too often, my passion for things I believe in outweighs the common sense that is faith in Jesus. Too often, I say and do things that might make it hard for people to believe I’m a follower of Christ. Too often, social media can be my contagion.
So, I need to do better. Every time I think of saying or doing something in the public eye (i.e., on the socials, or in this blog, or anywhere other than behind my own front door), I need to gut-check myself and ask, “is this what Jesus would say?” I bet that, if I did that, I’d stay quiet more.
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t stand up for Jesus. It’s absolutely critical that we do so, in this time more than ever in our lives. Tyranny is on the rise where we live, maybe even all over the world. If it hasn’t hit you yet, if you haven’t been censored, or confronted, or silenced, just wait. It will happen to you at some point. If we don’t stand and say, “I believe” now, while we can, then before long, we won’t be allowed. I wish this were just hyperbole, but it isn’t. It has happened before in other places, in other times. It’s happening now in the West, in America, in our towns and workplaces and even in our churches.
How do we stand up for Jesus? Today’s verse says the best way. Let our light shine (which is actually Jesus’ Holy Spirit working through us). Say & do good things that bring glory to God. Speak in ways that build each other up. Confront what’s wrong firmly but gently, realizing that the misguided people speaking wrongly are both loved by Jesus (like you and me), and looking at you as the misguided one. Let’s be patient and kind with each other, not compromising our beliefs but remembering that we’re all human, too. Most of all, be ready to answer with what you believe when someone asks you – and one day they will – “why are you doing this.”
Me and you, we need to shine our light brightly, so bright that even the darkest tyrant can’t extinguish it. It won’t be easy. We will be opposed. It will be a struggle. The cost will be high, costing us jobs, our things, our friends, eventually our lives. Shine it anyway. Shine it brightly and shine it always in all ways.
For more reading: 1 Corinthians 10:31, Philippians 1:11, Titus 2:14, Matthew 5:17
Lord, help me to shine Your light in me brightly, to speak and live in ways that give You glory.