The honest truth?
Some days the last thing I do is let my light shine.
I'm selfish. I speak unkindly. I get annoyed with the lady in front of me in the checkout line. I don't put others before myself. I judge the guy who is always smoking on his porch. I don't share my smile or a compliment or the Good News. I stick up my nose at the mom with the wild kid at story time. I just want to blend in and go unnoticed and slide through the day.
Some days - a lot of days - I flat out stink at shining!
Years ago when I was knee deep in student teaching and earning my degree in elementary education, one of the loveliest, kindest ladies I know gave me some advice that I have held close to this day.
See the cross of Jesus on their foreheads and remember that he died for them and for you.
Thank you, Peggy. Love you!
I tuck that piece of truth in my pocket and carry it around each day. I need it. I can't shine on my own. Every sinful fiber inside of me fights against it.
I need Jesus.
So when I feel myself becoming fed up or annoyed or judgey or lazy, I pray for that truth to wash over me so that when I look at them - the lady in the checkout or the man on the porch or the mom or whoever - I picture His cross on their foreheads. And that I not only see the cross, but feel Christ's deep, redeeming love for them.
We're not supposed to be choosy, y'all. We don't get to decide who is good enough. Who do we think we are? It's not a recommendation for us to love.
"Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this....Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."
We are to love. Period. Always.
Do do that, friends! Love with reckless abandon. Don't hold anything back.
And don't stand in Love's way.
*To read the rest of the series, go here.