Five Ways to SHINE Your Unique Light

by Andy Wood on April 20, 2015

in Five LV Laws, Following Your Passion, Leadership, Life Currency, LV Cycle, Principle of Legacy

Be the Light

I don’t think I’d have to argue long to convince you we’re living in a dark world.  Tune in your favorite news source and it seems that it’s a daily reminder that whatever was dark yesterday has only gotten darker today, and – get this – the only “fix” for it is to change the rules and make yesterday’s “dark” today’s “light.”

Pardon my cynicism, but pay attention to what everybody is calling “evil” today. All other things being equal, a decade from now people will openly declare it as “good” or “right” or necessary.

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be surprised that the world has its own answers to the messes it’s in.  Even now, in the United States of Iowa, one Democrat and 72 Republicans are mixing it up with the locals, presenting themselves as the light of the world.

I think you know better.

Then there’s the promise of technology.  The latest is something you can wear on your wrist to text (translation: to get a ticket from your local policeman), listen to music or do what you already do on your smart phone. The problem with technology being the answer is that next week it will have a different answer to the same question.

At the end of the day, despite what you may have been told, government isn’t the light of the world, and neither is technology.

You are.

Often overlooked, readily despised, and in many places persecuted, the key to the world’s survival and hope is found in the faithful, quiet witness and kindness of people who, in the name of Jesus Christ, simply go about their business and let God be God in their lives.  Speaking to these people – the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure in heart – Jesus Himself said this:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Thing is, I question whether you actually believe that.

I think a lot of Christians believe that in the abstract, but not in the concrete.  We believe that in a general sense, yeah, we’re the light of the world.  But really Jesus was referring to people who do great feats like Mother Teresa, or who are masters of the microphone like some preacher, or who have some dramatic testimony.

But that’s not what He said.  He said you.  If you’re a “you” then you qualify. So who were the “yous?”  People who were His followers.

If there was nobody else on this planet who followed Jesus but you, you would still have the capacity to punch holes in the darkness.  That’s not just true in all the ways that make you like every other believer, but also in the ways you are different.

Here are five ways you can SHINE uniquely and powerfully as the light of the world.

  1. Your Spiritual gifts

No two Christians are gifted alike.  And the ways God has uniquely gifted you become an extraordinary point of light in your universe.  Whether it is teaching, or encouragement, or leadership or service, or giving, or any of a host of other possibilities, your spiritual gifts are a platform for the Lord to show His glory and truth through you.

My suggestion would be to quit comparing your gifts to others and start using the gifts God has endowed you with.  Want to explore more how you are gifted?  Click here to see the simplest spiritual gifts test in the world.

  1. Your Heart.

When Jesus said to “seek first the Kingdom of God,” that still leaves an enormous amount of room for Him to inspire or move your heart in a unique way.

You’re passionate about some things that I have very little interest in.  I care about causes that you may appreciate, but they just don’t ring your bell or keep you awake at night.  By “heart” I’m referring to your driving force – those things that have captured your imagination, desires, and passion.  Want to know more about how to find your driving force?  Click here.

  1. Your Interests.

I don’t mean passing fads or click bait on your email.  I’m talking about the interests that eventually make you an expert.  Malcom Gladwell famously said it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.  I’m not sure it requires that long to make you the light of the world, but what abilities you do have – natural or developed – can change the world when placed in the hands of your Redeemer and King.

One of our problems is that we are so used to our areas of genius that we assume they’re no big deal – that anybody can do this or everybody knows that.  No so, my friend.  Want to explore your realms of interest or genius more?  Click here.

  1. Your Nature (personality)

Raise your hand if you’re an extrovert who’s been made to feel like a loudmouth reject by the Hushed Huddle of the Holy in Church World.  You know the group – the one that flies under the banner of that whole “meek and quiet spirit” thing.

Ditto for you if you’re an introvert who showed up, well, anywhere. If you’re quiet the whole world seems thing something is wrong with you, and you may be inclined to believe it.

If you’re task-oriented you don’t care about people. If you’re people-oriented you don’t get anything done.  It seems there’s always a reason to believe that somebody else’s light is brighter than yours.

Oh, that pesky devil!  Quit hiding and light up your world with the delight that is you!

  1. Your Experiences.

You have ways to connect with people that no one else does because of what you have experienced.  Whether those are the heights of joy, the depths of pain, or even the day-in, day-out experience of slugging through life, your experiences can be a source of light, pointing others to the hope that is in Jesus.

That includes your failures.  Your dopey decisions.  Your verbal snafus.  Your funny stuff.  It’s all fair game in the hands of the Light Maker.

 

At the end of the day remember this.  Light isn’t something you DO.  It’s something you ARE.  And every expectation that God has placed on you is a demand placed on the Holy Spirit inside of you.

Just be who you are.

Go where you go.

Let God be God.

He’ll take care of the shining.

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