ask: ‘let Your light shine before men.’ Earlier, He had made a similar declaration
when He said “you are the salt of the earth”. Unlike salt however, which mixes in
with food and becomes invisible, the call to “let your light shine before men” is a
more public expectation. It is almost as though Christ was saying: ‘don’t become
hidden, make sure you can be seen’. Let it be clear to men that you are light that
dispels darkness and bear no mark of the darkness of evil habits or tendencies. Christ
wants that marked difference to be evident.
It is for Specific Purposes. The light that we are to be to the world is not a dim light.
It is to shine so brightly that men “may see”. No matter how brightly we shine
however, our being light is ultimately for the glory of God and not for personal
glorification. The world is in darkness and we might light up a whole house or nation,
but we are not thereby to glory in ourselves. We have been made light for specific
purposes—for our own spiritual growth, and ultimately for the glory of God. These
two purposes are variously described by different people in the Bible. Jesus said: “..
let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your
Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
Paul & Barnabas: “For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’“ – Acts 13:47 (NIV) It is possible only by God. Our human nature and dark antecedents indicate that if left on our own, we will either be redundant as light, or will self-destruct if put to use as light. Connection with God however as the Source of our light will help us achieve the purpose for which we have been made light. We will shine brightly to the extent that we are linked to the one true Source of bright light.
Source: SALM’s article in the Spectator newspaper.