News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Religion

July 6, 2013

THE JOY LADY: How do we shine our lights so that others may see our good deeds?

TERRE HAUTE — My key ring probably looks a lot like yours. There are keys to my house and car, my husband’s car and office, my place of work, and there’s one key that has me stumped: what does it unlock and who gave it to me?

I also have a collection of the little plastic laminated cards that offer discounts at grocery stores, allow me to check out library books, and there’s the card that keeps track of the Diet Cokes I buy, so that every once in a while I can get one free. And then there’s my little purple flashlight, not much bigger than those little plastic cards, but a whole lot more powerful. My key ring would not be complete without it.

Once, my husband and I parked in the lot of one of our favorite restaurants. When I opened the door, I tipped my purse and a $20 fell out. Rather flew out, because it was windy that night, and the parking lot was dark. So I pushed the button on my little purple flashlight and my husband and I searched around and under nearby cars till we found that 20. It’s a good thing, too, because we “needed” that 20, so we could add dessert to our meal.

Another time, the power was out, and I needed to retrieve something from my car. The lack of electricity made the inside of my garage dark. Very dark. Very, very dark. So, my little purple flashlight came to the rescue. With the push of the button, the darkness in my garage was chased away, making it almost homey.

Isn’t it amazing that the littlest bit of light chases away the darkest of dark? Reminds me of Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”      

These words of Jesus are not a suggestion. They are not said in hopes of inspiring us to be better Christians. This is a command from Jesus: a command — as in not an option.

We teach our children to sing, “This little light of mine — I’m gonna let it shine,” but just how do we go about letting that light shine? How do we shine our lights so that others may see our good deeds and praise our father, God?

We can start with demonstrating the fruit of the spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We can follow that up with learning to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. And we can top it all off with Romans 12:18: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

That’s sure to make our lights shine, don’t you think?

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at

vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.

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