Have you ever spent time with someone who shines? Someone who has a healthy confidence and isn’t afraid to use their gifts and abilities to the full? As a result, attention is drawn to them and opportunities arise; yet they’re not seeking the attention, they’re simply living full-out.
I have a friend who is like that. He’s talented, fun, funny and people are just drawn to him. He is living full-out and unashamedly using the gifts God has given him to serve others and to glorify God.
He shines simply because he’s living out who God created him to be. Watching him makes me want to live fully, too.
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Nelson Mandela
St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
It brings glory to God when we are living with passion and freedom; being who He uniquely created each of us to be.
And yet it isn’t always easy to do.
I’m a major introvert. I don’t like to be the center of attention and when I do something well and receive attention for it, it usually makes me extremely uncomfortable. And yet, some of the gifts God has given me cause me to be in front of other people. Like leading or speaking or teaching.
My initial tendency is to shrink back.
When I receive attention it makes me uncomfortable and makes me feel bad for others who aren’t receiving that attention. I don’t want the attention and so sometimes I don’t want to use those specific gifts that bring attention.
But here’s the problem, God created me to use those gifts. For HIS glory! I have no business shrinking back. I was made by God to shine.
And guess what? So were you!
Jesus says to and about us, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 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.” Matthew 5:14-15
We get our light from Jesus. He is THE light.
“God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
In that verse, the Greek word for “see” is horaó. It means “to see, to look upon” but it also means “to experience”.
So, whether someone sees you doing a good work, or they directly experience the effect of your good work, God will be glorified.
Can you imagine a world where no one is living to their fullest potential?
Where no one is living the abundant life Jesus came to give us? Where everyone is living a dulled down version of themselves because they were either afraid to be brilliant or were afraid others would be offended at the attention they receive from shining brilliantly?
Where would our world be?
We’re all meant to shine the light of Christ. We’re meant to use the gifts He’s given us. If we shrink back and hide that serves no one. Only fear or misplaced humility makes one shrink. The love of God casts out all fear and makes one rise up with boldness and shine.
Because in the end, it’s not about shining for our own sake or our own glory; it’s about God’s light shining through us for His glory.
Like I said before, it’s contagious. So, shine. Go ahead, do it. There will be a chain reaction and someone else will be encouraged to light up and shine, too.