14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Matthew 5:14 (ESV)
Do you remember what it felt like to be afraid of the dark? Maybe, in the right set of circumstances, you still find yourself shaking in your boots when the lights go out.
Don’t let it get you down, darkness has a way of messing with us like almost nothing else. Darkness is, and always has been, a source of fear. It makes us vulnerable by limiting our ability to see where we are, where we’re going and what is around us.
By contrast, isn’t it amazing how just a little bit of light can bring a whole bunch of relief!
Biblically, darkness represents what is wrong with the world. It is repeatedly associated with sin, evil, confusion, danger, deception, ignorance, suffering, judgment, misery and gloom.
It is generally what we are called to avoid and that which God has overcome, going all the way back to that spectacular moment when He uttered those universe-altering words, “Let there be light.”
Despite our natural fear of the dark, we also have a strange fascination with, curiosity of or attraction to darkness. As perilous as it is, we all are tempted to toy with the idea of managing darkness for our own benefit.
Everyone eventually figures out that the dark not only conceals threats from our view, the dark can also (temporarily) conceal deeds of ours we hope never see the light of day. So we’ll avoid the dark until it seems advantageous for us to hide in the shadows.
Now what in the world does all this talk about darkness have to do with you being the light of the world?
If you are a Christ-follower, God has placed you right where you are as an athlete to shed light in the darkness.
Those around you who don’t know Christ are literally stumbling spiritually through their days without the ability to see where true life can be found. And make no mistake, spiritual darkness, though harder to perceive, is every bit as threatening as literal darkness.
It provokes profound fear and causes all who are “blinded” by it to cope with life without true light.
According to Ephesians 5:8, you can relate to this and humbly come alongside your teammates to show and tell the light of Christ. In Paul’s words, “Walk as children of light.”
This means renewing your mind with God’s Word. It means striving to conform to God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. It means loving your neighbor (any in your sphere of influence) with the same love you have been shown by Jesus.
More on that tomorrow.