A Good Light
Flip Wilson the great comedian of years gone by had a saying he used to say while dressed up as Geraldine which was very funny. “What you see is what you get”, he would proclaim in a high pitched voice. It was a statement that all of us can attest to because we all have our faults. It’s foolish to expect perfect people and it is foolish to think and act like we are perfect. Yet in our day and age it is sometimes important to hide our flaws. It might be in the makeup we wear or the hair piece that hides the thinning. It might be in the clothes that we wear that help hide our extra poundage. These things can help us look our best and better than what we really are. There is nothing wrong with trying to look our best. In fact God is looking at us through a good light.
Have you ever heard it said about a picture “That picture doesn’t reflect you in a good light?” How many times in years past have we had our picture made for a drivers license and totally cannot stand the picture? We are looking weird or our hair isn’t just right or our eyes are closed, or we are not looking at the camera. These pictures do not show us at our best. That is the beauty of something like Facebook. We can post only our favorite photos that put us in the best light and can discard the ones that we don’t like. In that way we put the best light on ourselves and are happy with the results.
One of my work insurance benefits is having my eyes checked every two years. The thing I don’t like about the examination is when they dilate my eyes. The process is quite painless as they take a solution and put it in my eyes. After a little while they are able to see the back my eyes to make sure nothing weird is going on. The problem I have is the bright light after the examination. They give me these sun glasses to wear because my eyes are extra sensitive to the light. Without the glasses on it would be so bright that it wold actually be painful. It would feel like the equivalent of looking directly into the sun.
When I was a kid my dad sometimes took me outside to help him as he worked on the car. He would give me the flashlight to hold on the part that he was working on from above the engine as he was under the car. After awhile with my mind drifting I invariably would move the light where it wasn’t shining on the place he needed it. Of course my attention was quickly pulled back to the job at hand as dad hollered and I realized that my light was shining on everything but what it was supposed to.
In Matthew 5 verses 14-16 Jesus said
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
It is very important to shine our light but we must realize that we can shine it the wrong way. We can shine it on things that we are not supposed to like I did with the car. We can shine it in such a way that it is painful to someone else as the bright light is as painful as looking into the sun. We can put a bad light on people that emphasizes seeing them at their worst. These are not God’s intentions of how we are to use our light he has given us. It is not God’s will for us to expose someone in our light in such a way that we put them in a bad light even if it is true.
In John chapter 8 Jesus was teaching in the temple when the scribes and pharisees brought a woman to him that they said was caught in the very act of adultery. They wanted to know if they should stone her like it is required in the Law of Moses? Actually they were trying to trap Jesus because however he answered they would have something against him. However Jesus told them something they didn’t expect. He told them to go ahead and stone her but only the one without sin among them could cast the first stone. Slowly they dropped their stones and left. When they had all left Jesus turned to the woman and asked Where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? She answered “no one Lord”, and he said neither do I. Go and sin no more. Jesus chose to not shine a light on all of her sins. Instead he chose to shine his light on the future instead of the past. He refused to put her in a bad light even though the charges against her were true.
The will of God in us is to shine our light for all to see. We are to look for good in people and not expose things that would put them in a bad light. That is called forgiveness and love. We cannot love others when we are talking bad about them. Love is slow to anger and quick to forgive. When you are tempted to say something bad about someone think about this question. Am I a perfect person? Would I like it if someone revealed something about me that put me in a bad light?
When shining your light that God has given you shine it directly on Jesus for he is our example. You can do this by following his example of not blaming or condemning people for their faults. Remember that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Remember that if we cannot forgive others God cannot forgive us. Make it a way of life to say nice things about others and overlook their faults. Do unto others as you would have them do onto you, not as they do unto you. In that way God will be pleased with the good light you are shining!