Shine. One word, a complete sentence-imperative or commanding. It is a biblical commandment. If God commands it, it means living it out behaviorally is possible. If he says to do it, we can do it.
He created each of us as an individual, and the individual requirements for us differ. God did not make us carbon copies of each other as Christians, but he does want us to become more Christ-like. Would we then be more like other Christians if we become more Christ-like?
Do we have to leave personalities to be more Christ-like? What do you thank happened to the early disciples? Did careful Thomas become more bold and adventurous like Peter? Did quietly loving John become a money counter, the role of Matthew in his earlier life? What about Paul as he gave up the name Saul?
If you’re familiar with these Biblical examples, you are aware that God takes our personalities as they are as he created us and uses them. Maybe I wanted to be the quietly listening, devoted Mary but I am still trying to have the busy, active, have-to-get-my-attention-to-get-me-to-be-still, Martha.
I am fun and funny; at times, serious. I like attention and I become envious when others receive more attention than I do. Some of this goes back to my family of origin where I was the youngest in the family. Not only was I the youngest, I was the youngest of eight. Words became both a weapon and a defense for me. In physical strength, there was no way to best those older than I. My short, stubby legs did not have the ability to outrun others. I don’t remember terribly well, but in those early years I probably often learned to say,” You better quit. I’m gonna tell Mama.”
Like most of my siblings, I liked school and learning, and I made good grades. I learned early obedience to doing what I was told to do. However, my inward behavior did not match my outward behavior. In our dysfunctional authoritarian family, there was no opportunity to rebel or question or even to show anger. Just because an attitude is not shown on the outside does not mean it is not on the inside.
There was a spark of the rebel in me. Unfortunately, there still is. My friend Juanita says God uses the spicy me I was before I gave my heart and life to Jesus He is the one who has to work on the inner me. There was a very popular children’s Christian song of my girls when they were small that had these words: “He’s still working on me.” Yes, he is. There are several areas for he continues to be actively engaged in this not-yet-finished Christian.
“So let your light shine that others may see your good
works and glorify your father who is in heaven.”