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“That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
I once heard it said that carving a pumpkin is similar to how God works in the lives of His people. He picks us up out of the patch and cleans us up. He gets rid of all the yucky stuff inside of us and gives us a smiling face. Then He places His light in us and displays us for all the world to see.
Hearing this little story not only makes me want to carve a pumpkin but it reminds me of something that Mom always says to us. Every time she drops us off somewhere she always gives us her “Mom spiel”. She reminds us that she loves us. That we need to be good and careful and to let out lights shine. If she happens to be texting this instead of telling you in person she’ll add a little flashlight emoji.
I wonder if sometimes we can get so caught up in living our own lives that we forget that we have a job to do. We are told that if we follow God and do what He says, letting Him transform us we are going to stand out in the world. We are going to be different. Walking to the beat of His drum. Saying what He wants us to say and treating others as He would with love and compassion.
I know from experience that sometimes letting our lights shine can be a little bit of a challenge. We’re afraid of what others may say. And you know what? Being who God has called us to be is going to cause those who disagree to occasionally voice that. But what I’m coming to realize is that we are really only hurting ourselves. We’re really not living to our full potential because we’re afraid of what others are going to say.
And the thing is the world won’t like us because it didn’t like Jesus either (John 15:18-19). And although that’s a hard thing to grasp we also know that we have the God of the universe on our side as well. And with His help we know that we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). He has promised that He will never leave or forsake us, and that NOTHING can ever separate us from His love (Hebrews 13:5b, Romans 8:38-39).
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”