Let Your Light Shine  By Bill Stough

 

The older lady at the table next to us at McDonald’s looked so sad, and even depressed. She and her husband ate silently while my wife, Scarlett, and our six year-old granddaughter, Sophia, ate. Sophia was playing with a paper flower that came with her happy meal. Suddenly Sophia asked us if she could give her flower to the lady at the table next to us. We were surprised as we’d made no comment about the lady, and we said “of course.”

She walked to the lady and silently handed her the flower. That produced an immediate smile and a big “thank you.” Her demeanor was completely changed. She tapped on the window from outside and waved at Sophia when they left the restaurant. A child had done something very simple and loving that changed her whole outlook. Once again, Scarlett and I were being taught by a child.

Isn’t love supposed to be the most noticeable trait a Christian has?

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (1 John 13: 33-34.)”

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians 6:10.)”

"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 (Matthew 5: 14-16.)”

Why is it that a child can exhibit selfless behavior at times while we adults remain self-absorbed, only thinking about ourselves? God has ways of opening our minds with the Holy Spirit “speaking” to us. Scarlett and I had just experienced such an event.

Note that in the millennium one of the ways people will be taught of God:

“Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’ (Isaiah 30: 20-21.)”

God works in similar ways with us right now. The Holy Spirit puts convictions in our minds and stirs us up to either fight wrongs or puts desires in us to do good works. You could say the Holy Spirit is “speaking” to us, although we hear no audible voice. The Spirit also opens our eyes to the good examples of others, and convicts us that we should be doing similar things.

When we are convicted or taught by the Holy Spirit we should not quench it (1 Thessalonians 5: 19.) There are many ways of quenching what God wants of us. One way is by becoming completely self-absorbed again. Another is being lazy in fighting sin. God may also be opening up an opportunity to do some positive works, sometimes called a “ministry.” We ought not to ignore such stirrings.

Some authoritarian churches try to quench the spirit of its members by insisting on approving every organized work or program an individual wants to do. But God may have stirred up that Christian to do a work he has put in his or her conscious to do. The member may be confused when the church has put him or her in the position of choosing between membership in that church and doing what God wants him to do! This happens more than we might realize.

God is alive and the Holy Spirit is continually working and sometimes we are surprised by what God wants us to do. But the results are always good.

I’ll bet that lady Sophia surprised was smiling all day. She might even have gone home and stuck the paper flower to her refrigerator. Little things can mean a lot.



Volume 10 Issue 4 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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