A while back, before daytime running lights on cars, people used to flash their lights or let you know if your lights were on in the daytime. It was a, “hey, don’t turn your car off and let your battery die,” kind of warning. The commercial showed a driver’s view of other cars slamming their brakes after noticing him last minute. Then they’d shout, “Hey buddy, your lights are on!” The irony is that the lights helped to avoid collision, but they still yelled about the lights as though they shouldn’t be on at all. Now many cars have daytime running lights, not to help us see during the day, but to help other drivers see us.
Here’s another story, same concept.
When a relative of mine passed away, I was speaking with a cousin I don’t see too often who asked me why I wear a cross. I smiled and said it was because I belong to Jesus. He then asked if I would belong to Jesus if I didn’t wear it. I said that of course I would! He smiled and said that I wear it for others to see. My cousin, Ronny, was right. I wear the cross for others to see. I also wear it for myself when I need a reminder that Jesus is with me, but I don’t choose to hide it. It shows my dedication to the Lord, something no fashion statement or criticism can remove.
Got the concept? Our ‘light’ is knowing Jesus and letting it ‘shine’ is for the benefit of others, not ourselves.The first analogy works a little better in that, at least years ago, people would complain about the ‘light’ even though it was beneficial. People complain about Christians sometimes, even though we do charity work, pray for everyone from the oppressed to the enemies, and we are peaceful - not forceful in our ways. I’m painting the image of a good Christian of course, which I’m not always acting like myself, but I try.
We can find Jesus, love Him, and follow God’s commandments, but to do so without spreading the gospel, sharing the Light, is to miss the point completely.Remember the rich man in Matthew 19? Jesus tells him that, though he’s observed all the commandments, he needs to share what he has with those in need. The man went away sad because that meant changing his whole life. In verse 26, Jesus says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Now, we don’t know what the man ultimately did; we can only imagine. But we do get to find out what happens when we obey that suggestion. We don’t have to live in a poor house to experience this either. As I tell my children, fair isn’t about having the same; it’s about making sure everyone has enough. Let’s make sure we share our love and light so that everyone has enough and is able to experience the love of God in a fruitful and joyful way.
PS: I’ve searched and just can’t find that commercial. If you remember it and find it, put the link in the comments - thanks!