Parable of the Lamp Under the Basket
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. (Matthew 5:14-16, NIV) (Also in March 4:21-22 and Luke 8:16-17)
In our previous vision, we looked at who was considered our neighbor. We learned that everyone we encounter, we are to consider our neighbor! Just as God loves all, we too should show that love to everyone we meet. Our actions, the way we live our lives, the way the we present ourselves to every neighbor, leaves an impression with them. It is our everyday actions that can influence our neighbors.
Surely you’ve heard the saying, “First impressions matter”? And it’s true! First impressions do matter because it is a lasting impression you make on someone. If you give someone a bad first impression of yourself, it can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to change their initial impression of you. We must always be careful of how we present ourselves to others each and everyday!
The impression we give to others should not change based on setting or relationship. As followers of Christ, we are called to live as shining light for Christ, and it should make us stand out from those who do not follow Christ. We should be a shining beacon for Christ, just as lighted lamp provides light for all who see it. We do not hide lights under baskets or dark cloths, we set them in the open so they can help as many people as possible.
Similarly, Christians are not to hide their devotion and love for the Lord. They should not act one way at work, another way at church, another with family, another way with friends, and still another way behind the anonymity of a screen. Behavior, attitudes, and actions should be consistent with what is taught by the word of God, in every location, in every situation, before everyone. This prevents others from questioning who is the real you? The real you is a servant of the Lord God! The real you uses you words and actions to glorify Him, at all times!
Our actions, attitudes, and words around others influence their impressions of you. A good, constant example of a follower of the Lord can also influence their impressions of what it means to be a follower of the Lord. It can influence, and perhaps even change minds and opinions, and lead others to develop their own relationship with Christ!
How do others see you? Where is your light for the Lord? Is it shining from the middle of the room? Is it hidden under a basket? let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.