YOU CANNOT HIDE YOUR LIGHT
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” Luke 8:16
According to Jesus, there is a fine line between parading your “righteousness” and allowing your righteousness to be seen. He had issues with the Pharisees because their “deeds of righteousness” were done to impress people. He hated and exposed that kind of thing because it was a cover-up for lives that were full of greed and wickedness.
On the other hand, a sincere and generous heart reflects God’s heart. What’s the point of covering up? Light is meant to expose and reveal and an open-hearted, generous response to people’s need points to attitude that is not eclipsed by selfishness and greed. God’s desire is that lives that are transformed by His grace and power should shine the light back on Him because He is the only source of all goodness.
Jesus urged His followers to become ministers of what they had received. Hearts that have been touched by him have changed their awareness from self to God and have absorbed God’s value system of kindness, generosity, and mercy. In the context of the parable of the seed and the soil, this implies that the fruit that comes from seed sown in fertile soil will be right in line with the nature of the seed. What kind of fruit would one expect to find if one plants the seed of God’s Word? Surely it would be fruit that reflects the nature of Jesus. He is the Living Word, according to the Hebrew way of thinking, a manifestation of the Father in another form.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” If His way of life, His “yoke”, reflected the life of God, the nature of the Father, His mercy and generosity, then the fruit that comes from the seed that falls into our own hearts should reflect the same attitude towards all people. And that is something that does not need to be paraded because it cannot be hidden.
This conflict between light and darkness, between generosity and greed, taking in all the aspects of unselfishness versus selfishness and all their consequences, is the core of the war that rages in the world. The fruit of every life can be traced back to what is in the heart. The presence of Jesus by His Spirit in a life provides the potential and the power to drive out the darkness by the light that He is, in the heart of the one who believes in Him.
On another occasion Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world.” If we, as the children of God, are living lives that show the world who Jesus is, there will be no need to parade our generosity to impress people. It will be seen by our attitude and the way we treat those who are in need around us.