Be the Light

The day is finally here! It’s Christmas Eve, hopefully you have all your gifts ready to go, and if not, I wish you luck with the chaos that will be happening today. Christmas is always such a magical time, there is so much going on and it can be easy to grow distracted with all the cooking, family gatherings, and making sure you’ve got the perfect gift for that person who is always so hard to shop for. Christmas can also be a challenging season. With emphasis on family and being joyful for what you have, this can be very difficult for some to cope with loss, heartache and fear of the unknown. For me personally, this Christmas has been a time of fun and uncertainty mixed together as the new year has many unknowns. So, what do we do? What can we do is we find ourselves busy and uncertain all at the same time as having to put on a happy face? I think the key is actually simple, just difficult to fully accept and believe. I say this, because it is something that I have to accept and navigate as well. This isn’t me saying, “this will change your life in a few easy steps,” really, it’s the beginning of how to grow and mature in your life. We have been called to humble ourselves and love others; in other words, we are called to be the light.

It’s so hard to be humble and love others. I’ll just go ahead and say it so you don’t have to. There are frustrations and people around us that are just hard. We go through life and just want others to notice us and see the things we bring to the table, but it seems like unless we are obnoxious about it, no one even gives us a second of attention. The we try to walk over others. We tell ourselves that we’ve been mistreated so much in the past, that now it’s our turn. We begin to justify hurting others. We see despicable people and think that it’s okay if they get what’s coming to them, or that you were never given a chance and why should they. We begin to justify hate. That’s not what we were called to do, that’s not the point of the Christmas story. The Christmas story is filled with humility and love. The God of creation sent his son as a human to earth, literally born in a barn to a newly wed, lower-class family, in order to rescue us from our own mistakes. Jesus, one who loved us so much that he chose to die as a perfect man because he could not let us go any longer without a choice over our lives. We can’t look at the birth of Christ without knowing the power of his death and resurrection, and we can’t look at this story without remembering that we are called to live like Christ. We are called to be the light.

Humble yourself.

It’s not about us. If we can just live our lives consciously thinking about this truth, it’s going to make things a whole lot easier. You see keeping up with an image of this perfect-put together person is going to make your life stressful. We play comparison games with others and try to then over compensate with how we present ourselves. We need to remember that life doesn’t revolve around us. We have been called to reach others, and that is not possible when we are prideful. Pride gives us a false sense of safety, making us think that we’re above others or above the compromises we tend to make. We’ll test the waters until we’ve gone too far, and coming back is more difficult than ever. Humility makes us think about others more than ourselves, it allows us to have empathy for those who are hurting and lift others up rather than promote ourselves. It helps us realize that we are so far from perfect, so why would I ever believe that this won’t end up hurting me in the long run. Humility helps us think long-term, pride makes us think in immediate gain. One will help you grow and change, the other will slowly take your life away.

Love others.

Real love isn’t really a thing anymore. I’m not talking about the butterflies in your stomach love, I’m talking about selfless love. It’s a process that requires humility first (Look at the paragraph quite literally above this one), and then requires us to demonstrate this love. Real love is when Christ went to the cross when he didn’t have to and choosing to save us all. Now, before you click away and think this guy is trying to get me into a cult, I’m not saying you have to die. The attitude of Christ making that choice is the mindset we should have, the urgency we should have when loving others. Are there people in your life who do not have a relationship with Christ? And not just, do they go to church, but do they have an authentic faith? We can often look at the people in our lives and get nervous about what they might think, but real love is deep. Real love is telling them about the gospel, not just inviting them to an Easter or Christmas service. Real love is continuing to love them when they change the subject away from faith. Real love is loving them despite them rejecting what you have told them. Real love is being a light in their life even when they don’t want a relationship, or go to your church, or choose to live a lifestyle you aren’t supportive of. Remember that Jesus chose to have dinner with sinners, it’s good for you to invest in your non-Christian friends, because they are the people who need your light the most. We can’t fulfill our calling spending time in our comfort zone of Christian friends, we are called to love others and let Jesus work through us.

Be the Light

We are called to be a light, wherever we are. The church has gotten so confused by this idea. We are not called to bring our friends to church, we are called to be the church. This means stepping out of our comfort zone and into the calling God has on our lives. It means that we have to put in some work. We have to be in the word and meditating on it daily, while being in conversation with our creator. We can’t tell others about being in a relationship, without out us ourselves being in relationship. Christmas is an opportunity for us to reflect on the example we are all given on how we can be a light to those around us. Jesus shows us how to humble ourselves and love others, we need to be the one sharing the gospel for the people we directly impact. You have an opportunity, and even if this season is difficult for you, know that God cares deeply about you and wants you to not let the enemy take over your mind with these fears, because he has made you for more than that. HE has designed you with purpose, and it’s time to step into that purpose.

It’s time to be the light.

-Joshua Thomas

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