The world in which we live is troubling. As Christians, we must understand where the trouble comes from. It is easy to list many reasons for the wrongs we observe: disease, natural disasters, wars, etc., but the root cause, the real reason for the troubles we have is sin—sin and its impact on creation. Sin brings trouble and discord. Sin has brought trouble to relationships, sickness and inherited diseases to untold millions throughout history—and the list could go on. So whether directly or indirectly, the darkness in the world and in our lives comes from sin.
As Christians, we are called to be the light of the world. There’s an overwhelming thought—people like you and me are called to bring light to the darkness. For parents, that means that our children, who are born in darkness and continue to live in darkness, should be exposed to the light from us, first of all. Again, overwhelming! How do we bring light to the darkness?
Christ gives us direction in Matthew’s gospel:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 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.” Matthew 5:14-16
Our task is not as daunting as it may first appear. Our light shines when we are different from those around us—by doing good works. Following God’s ways can often have a more profound impact than we imagine. For example, simply loving others and openly loving God stands in sharp contrast to the darkness of the world. I was reminded of this by an article I read yesterday, written by a sports writer who is trying to come to grips with the phenomenon known as Tim Tebow. The article was written by Greg Doyle, of CBS Sports. He is the writer who, in 2010, was highly critical of the ad Tim Tebow did with his mother for the Super Bowl, regarding abortion. Doyle was critical, not of the ad per se, but of the fact that the ad brought religion into the Super Bowl. Now, two years later, Tebow again has Greg Doyle’s attention:
“… Tebow bounded into the interview room — and stood behind the podium in jeans, sneakers and a button-down sweater-vest. Beaming, Tebow opened the floor by asking, ‘What’s going on?’
People laughed, even media people, because people were charmed. Tebow has that ability. When he isn’t making people uncomfortable with his religious talk — like it or not, there are people who do get uncomfortable – Tebow is charming them with his guilelessness. He talks like an earnest 20-year-old, and he refuses to be goaded into self-absorption. When he is asked about teammates, he praises them. When he is asked about coaches, he praises them. When he is asked about himself, he praises God. Some people love that. Some don’t. Either way, it has contributed to the larger-than-sports, almost larger-than-life, mystique of Tebow.”
Note the part of the quote that I underlined: When he is asked about his teammates, he praises them. When he is asked about his coaches, he praises them. When he is asked about himself, he praises God.
Simple, yet profound! Imagine that if, when we were asked about our family, we praised them instead of critiquing them. Imagine if, when asked about something noteworthy we have done, we praised God—instead of basking in the glow of our own success. Loving others, loving God. If Greg Doyle can notice Tim Tebow’s testimony, perhaps your friends, neighbors and co-workers will notice your’s. Let your light shine!