[ WordBytes on Evangelization Ministry for Today’s World ]
Jesus says in Luke 8:16-18 that we must never hide the light he has given us. The light of Christ is not just about truth and salvation. Everything we have that’s from him must be shared with others, because Christ’s very nature is the sharing of all that is good. To be united to him means to share, with him. To hold onto anything for ourselves is so unlike him that his light within us weakens and fades, and the little that we cling to is lost.
Our ability to love like Christ, for example, grows stronger when we give it sacrificially, willingly.
Proverbs 3:27-34 explains that, to receive the blessings of God, we must take immediate action (immediately!) whenever we can do something that benefits others. To the humble, God shows kindness so that we can be full of kindness toward others without waiting for them to deserve it. He does not withhold his love from us when we’re arrogant and nasty, and we must treat others the same way.
God’s goodness is always available to us, but to experience it more, we have to be united to him in the sharing of his goodness with others. When we treat others well, we stoke the fire – we brighten the light – of our unity with Christ, and in that close relationship, we experience more of his unconditional love and kindness.
Contrarily, we break that unity and hide the light of Christ whenever we are miserly in love, in financial donations, in possessions and with the use of our talents and time. Such selfishness comes from fear: We’re afraid that something bad will happen to us if we give away more than what we calculate is safe. And we could be right! But love includes sacrifice, and fear is not Godly.
Fear is a darkness that enshrouds the light of Christ. Do we trust God or not? Fear says no. Do we believe that God can and will make a greater good come from anything bad that happens? Fear says no. Love says yes, but love is not always logical nor protected from pain. We’re reminded of that every time we look at an image of Christ’s crucifixion.
Jesus says, “To anyone who has, more will be given,” but only because we give it away. If we limit our generosity and withhold love or kindness or any other blessing that God has given to us, we limit God’s fuel for the flame. And so, “from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” It’s dangerous to hide the light of Christ.
How on fire – zealous and excited – is your faith? Is your spirit growing or withering? What are you holding back, protecting it for yourself? To become more united to Christ and all of his goodness, look within and get in touch with the joy you would feel if you were rid of the fears that have been darkening your life.
© 2010 by Terry A. Modica
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Sharing the Light of Christ
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