By Carol Round
GROVE, OK (ANS – October 16, 2016) — “Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father” — Matthew 5:16 (TLB).
Turn on the television or pick up a newspaper and the headlines scream with the negative, evil and dark happenings in our world today. It can be depressing.
Recently, the author of a daily devotional said, “Sometimes we see the evil in this world and wonder how a loving God could let it go unchecked. Perhaps we should be asking a different question. Aren’t goodness, love, and care evidence of the presence of God in our midst?”
The writer went on to relate the goodness he experienced firsthand while recovering from knee-replacement surgery in a rehab clinic. His recovery team and the staff members he met were from Russia, India, the Philippines, Albania and Romania. He writes, “These caregivers from all over the world were like ministers to me. They all had one purpose in mind: to provide for my recovery needs with compassion. I experienced God’s presence in every caring act.”
His words reminded me of a contemporary Christian song titled “Mighty to Save,” sung by Hillsong United. Part of the lyrics are as follow:
Everyone needs compassion, A love that’s never failing, Let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness, A kindness of a Savior, The hope of nations…
Jesus is our hope in a world filled with darkness. We can lament the evil around us or we can do as He says in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus tells His disciples, along with the crowds that had gathered: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Our daily lives should be a reflection of Jesus’ love. In Philippians 2:14-15, Paul writes, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky…”
Is it really that simple? The key is remembering that when we’re overwhelmed with the negativity and darkness around us, we must look to the source of our light — Jesus. We can’t conquer all of the world’s evils. However, we can check our own attitude and actions. Avoid complaining and negative people. Walk away from petty arguments that bring division. Basically, it boils down to our attitude.
It might be easier to give in and just complain with everyone else, venting our frustrations to anyone who is willing to listen. But if we want to be a shining light in this dark time, we have to look past that and speak words of grace. Only then can we shine.