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matthew 5:16, Monday Morning Meditations, Jane Graham, Bible Verse, Christian Living

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her studying me and I could tell that she was contemplating whether her thoughts warranted being spoken aloud.

She approached and I met her gaze with a smile.

Jane, you’re so full of energy and enthusiasm,” she said. “I can tell that about you. You’re different.”

I wondered how she could know much of anything about me after our brief and isolated interactions, but I stored her words away and considered whether this might be true.

(After all, as a non-coffee drinker, the only thing I generally feel energetic about in the morning is hitting the snooze button.)

On Friday she eyed me again.

I smiled and probably looked over my shoulder to make sure there wasn’t some dazzling individual standing behind me.

Jane, you’re always smiling. Every time I see you, you’re smiling.”

Hmm. I pondered this as well, knowing how often my attitude is sour and my mind fills with complaints while my heart is out-of-joint. My children will happily point out that I am certainly not always smiling.

But could it be I am more smiley than the average human? More enthusiastic than another?

Regardless of where my personality ranks in such matters, it occurred to me while at work this week that there is at least one person who sees something different.

Apparently, there is one person who is taking note.

And that means there is a good chance that others may be doing the same.

What Matthew 5:16 Teaches Me Today:

So what does it mean to “let your light shine”?

I’ve been pondering this a lot lately. How can I bring Jesus into the secular parts of my world? How can you?

(PS: if you’re thinking that you don’t have secular pieces to your life, I recommend that you get some! Jesus models this over and over in the Gospels).

Does taking Jesus along mean that we keep a pile of tracts in your handbag? Does it mean my Bible–or yours– is in full view of anyone who enters my home, gets a ride in my car, or passes my desk? Does it mean that I quote Scripture with the employees at Costco?

Not necessarily, though feel free to keep your Bible handy.

For me, Matthew 5 is an encouragement to live in such a way that our light is undeniable; that we glow with some intangible quality that makes others raise an eyebrow.

Light-shining should be so intrinsic to our Jesus-following-DNA that it is just as much a part of us as eating our lunch; that is it just as natural as breathing deeply.

Light-shining should be part-and-parcel to our very identity — not an add-on at the buffet bar of personality.

Shining your light should give others a reason to take notice and say thank you. If the recipient of your kindness is already a believer, they will thank God for you. They will be blessed by you and feel the better for it.

And if the witness of your light-shining is not a believer, your behavior should open the door to them asking questions. It should prompt them to wonder why you’re so weird…or at least why you’re not like everyone else they know.

That’s a challenge I think about every day.

May God pull open any shades I draw or blinds I close; may He wipe away any haze in my windshield, so that by looking at me, they see HIM.