(Red-letter portions of the new Testament)
Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
What is the end result of letting our light shine. What is the end result of our good deeds? Is it just shining on others? Is it just doing good?
The end result is to be glorifying our Father in Heaven. So, if we let our light shine or do good deeds, but it doesn’t get people to glorify God, the job isn’t done. The goal is not reached, according to Jesus.
We have been content to enjoy someone’s light and not glorify God for it. We glorify that person and forget God. We have been content to enjoy someone’s good deeds and not glorify God for it. We give them credit, but not God.
We have been content to let our light shine and take the applause for ourselves, instead of saying, “No. Glorify God, not me.” We have been content to do good and accept the plaque or the trophy, but not give credit to God.
How many people, as a habit, stop and glorify God, publicly, for the good they receive or the good they give? Are we just a mutual admiration society, patting each other on the back. Do we take turns giving each other awards, as an act of self-congratulation, yet leave God out of it.
Some may say, well, I glorify God, privately. If it’s a secret, how does it give God glory? Glory is public, shame is private. Are we ashamed of glorifying God?
Or, some people may feel awkward, if I give the glory to God, publicly, for some achievement or good I have done. So what if someone “may” feel awkward. It is God’s feelings, God’s glory, we are to be concerned about, according to Jesus.
During the present health crisis, there are many acts of kindness being done. We need to give God the glory for those who are letting their light shine. We need to give glory to God for those good deeds.
If we let our light shine or do a good deed, we need to deflect the gratitude and the glory to God. Then, and only then, do we fulfill the words of Jesus about letting our light shine.