Matt 18:6/Mark 9:42 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
We are all encouraged to be the light of the world. As a matter of fact, it is a command from God that we should provide light in this world of darkness (Matt 5:14-15). We have received tips on how to let our light shine but how bright is our light?
As a car, suv, van, and truck are all vehicles. Naturally, the head lights on some types of vehicles are brighter than others for varying reasons BUT all have a gauge (device which turns the light on/bright/low/off).
When you are in a vehicle at night (whether you are the passenger or driver) and the vehicle in the oncoming traffic has its head lights fully on, the vehicle you’re in has to slow down UNLESS you are an EXPERIENCED driver.
Similarly, Christians, whether baptised yesterday, 5 yrs ago, 10 yrs ago, or backslidden-but-repented are all Christians. Evidently, some Christians have “brighter lights” than others because of their dedication and commitment to God, their spiritual maturity and their practice to apply (live by) the Word of God. However, they too have a ‘gauge’ called wisdom.
Can you identify a Christian who you would never go to because their lights are too bright? Meaning, everything is spiritual and they cannot come down to earth? Or is that person you?
Offensive is defined as causing someone to feel hurt, angry and upset (Merriam-Webster Online).
The bible says that if we offend any of the children who believe in God (new converts) then it would be better if a huge stone was tied around the offender’s neck for them to be drowned in the sea. Wow!!! Such a terrible way to die is much better than the punishment we would receive if we offend a child/new convert.
Being ‘holy’ is not something we need to parade for others to see. If God has indeed made us holy, people will easily see it. We should not turn away others and cause them to feel hurt just because we need our lights to be the brightest one in the room.
How do we do this?
~judge and criticise them when they fall and sin (remember when you sinned?)
~degrade their problems as ‘nothing’
~tell them they are not praying ‘right’ or not seeking God enough instead of teaching them how to do these things
~constantly remind them of their past as a way to tear them down
~do not allow them to take part in church because they are not ‘spiritual’ yet
And all the while, we show them how spiritual we are but do not take the time to gauge our lights to help them grow.
When the sun is shining in the midday hours, we cannot look directly at it without hurting our eyes. BUT if we realise, we can look directly at the sun at sunrise and sunset and appreciate its beauty. The sun knows when it needs to dim its light and when it needs to have it fully powered.
Questions to ask ourselves:
- Is our light dim and not even sufficient to guide us much less others?
- Is our light bright enough to enable others to find the correct path to God?
- Is our light too bright, causing those who see it to turn away and swerve out of our way?
Let us be like the sun. Let us use wisdom and lower our lights when necessary so that new converts/children are not hurt by our actions but rather they will be able to see and appreciate the beauty of God’s work.
Prayer: Most righteous and wise God, thanks for imparting Ur knowledge on us. First, i ask that U give us wisdom and then help us to apply this wisdom to the light we shine. Help us to remember that we are representing U to the saved and unsaved so we need to know when it is appropriate to turn on all lights or just 1 light. Have Ur way and speak to our hearts, continually giving us guidance in the name of Jesus, amen.