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Ineffective Light

We are in the middle of an arctic deep freeze. We’ve run out of words to describe the cold.

Last night during the weather forecast, the woman was trying to be positive about the fact that the sun was going to shine. But she was quick to add that the sunshine would be ineffective because it was going to be so cold.

Ineffective light. How can that be?

As you can imagine, I was quick to begin thinking in spiritual implications.

I was immediately reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount:
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it
be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and
trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither
do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and
it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before
others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)

I have often considered what “un-salty” might be, or how it would taste, but I had never considered light that wasn’t light.

That would be darkness…wouldn’t it?

Maybe not.

Have you ever reached for a flashlight (after hunting all over for it) only to find the batteries or light bulb were too weak to light what you needed to see?

Ineffective light.

The flashlight holds all the potential to dispel the darkness, but because it has not been maintained or cared for, when it is finally located it fails to live up to that potential.

So how is your light? What does it take to not be ineffective?

That reminds me what of Peter said:
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to
goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control,
perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection;
and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing
measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2Peter 1:5-8, NIV)

That’s quite a list. Maintenance of our light takes a bit of effort. We can’t hope to dispel sin’s darkness if sit on a shelf during the week and just show up occasionally at church on Sunday. Making every effort means making the most of every opportunity, and maybe even creating a few opportunities along the way.

I don’t want to have it pronounced over me that I was “ineffective and unproductive.”

I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

How about you? What effort are you making? Do you struggle to add what Peter recommends? What works best for you?

Prayer: God, help us, teach us, lead us to know how to make our light shine more brightly for you. Amen

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