You’ve probably heard the expression “you are a beacon of light,” but I wonder if we give that compliment the thought it deserves. In essence, when someone tells us we’re a beacon of light, they’re telling us that we’ve done something good and often, we really are radiating a literal light.
Doing good and being good aren’t mutually exclusive either. One can be a good person, but do little and one can do good, but not always be a decent person — that may seem contradictory, but that’s okay, because it kind of is. When we do good deeds, such as helping others or caring for animals and nature, we are in effect, generating a form of light. The more good we do in life, the more people will benefit and as we see the positive fruits of our generosity, we begin to emit a kind of electrical charge — not an actual charge per se, but more of a positive glow that radiates, getting brighter with each good deed.
The Bible passage Matthew 5:14-16 talks about being “the light of the world” and its message is a very inspirational and positive one:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
What is this passage telling us? For me, it’s telling us that when we light a lamp, we don’t hide it, but we place it where it can generate the most light and so that it does what its intended to do. And this Bible passage is also teaching us that we, God’s children, are the light of the world and that we are meant to not just shine, but to shine brightly. We are meant to be bold, strong, courageous, kind, compassionate and loving — we are not meant to be dim and weak.
A lot of us all too often forget the fact that we are not on this earth to be angry, bitter or judgemental, but rather, we are here to be the light of the world. To be that light, requires us to reject evil things, such as hatred, anger, jealousy and vindictiveness — we are not here to judge each other harshly, but to be the light for every single man, woman and child on earth — to be that light, we must uplift each other and not bring each other down. Imagine how bright the light of this world could be, if each of us truly aspired to be the light of the world?
How To Be The Light
Jesus is the ultimate light of the world, as He tells us in John 8:12: “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” Jesus is the most powerful light and He teaches us how to live, speak and behave, so that we too are the light in this world.
The passage from Matthew also says “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” This is key, because we are being cautioned that although we are the salt and the light of the world, if that salt becomes tasteless, it is no longer good for anything — when we live our lives in anger, bitterness, jealousy, condemnation and hatred, the salt (us), becomes tasteless and therefore, no longer good.
For us to be the salt and light of the earth, God’s children must truly follow the teachings of Jesus and live as we are taught. This selection of Bible passages tells us what we need to know in terms of how we should live, act and believe in this world:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:29-32
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:12-17
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.” – Luke 10:30-37
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
“Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” – Matthew 7:1-2
“Walk as children of Light for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” – Ephesians 5:9
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus our Messiah.” – 2 Corinthians 4:6
“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” – Daniel 12:3
To be the light and the salt of the earth, we simply have to:
- Be kind
- Have faith
- Not judge or condemn harshly
- Have compassion
- Be calm in speech and action
- Love — and this is a big one. We must commit ourselves to love God above all, but also to love all of our brothers and sisters as we ourselves want to be loved.
Its not always easy to live as we are taught, but if we truly want to be happy and to be the salt and light of this earth, we need to wholeheartedly pledge to do so.