A City on a Hill
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
God’s children are on display to the world like a city on a hill (Matt. 5:14). The light from a thriving metropolis can be seen for miles. Likewise, believers are to “shine” in such a way that others will observe our good works and honor God.
A Christian’s “faith light” is evident through his or her deeds. We want coworkers, friends, and others in our sphere of influence to sit up and take notice of the way we live. The reason? Because once people notice that we are not simply “out for number one,” they’ll want to know why. Then they might gradually begin to connect the dots: Thinking, He helps others even when it’s difficult or She says she does this because she’s a Christian could lead them to conclude, Then their God must be worthy and good. The more we are seen doing good works, the more glory goes to God, who is the Author of our service record.
To balance the command to shine, however, the Lord did give an admonition in Matthew 6:1: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them.” In other words, be mindful of the motive. If we’re performing in order to get a pat on the back or the attention of others, we will lose out on a heavenly reward. That fleeting bit of worldly appreciation is all we’ll get for our efforts.
Believers are here to point others to the God they serve. We are a reflection of His light and glory. It is He who not only gives opportunity to shine but also equips us with the strength and gifts to work for the kingdom. As bright as we may seem, we are nothing apart from the Lord.