As followers of Jesus, we have the privilege and responsibility to shine the light of Christ into the world through our lives. We tend to think of this project in significant terms. We need to help the flood victims. We need to march against injustice. We need to make a public stand for all we believe.
While those things are good, I am also convinced that we can shine our light just as bright on smaller terms. Here are a few of the things I am noticing lately.
1. Be Kind to People. The people who touch my life in the biggest way are people who speak kindly, smile, open doors, shake my hand and say nice things to me. They compliment without complaining. They do good without repayment. They show kindness without strings. This world can be cold and hard some days, and a little kindness goes a long way.
2. Ask Someone about Themselves. We live in an age of endless self-promotion. Social media is about people sharing their lives with little regard for yours. Sometimes it is nice to have people simply ask, “How are you doing?” and then wait for a response. I often think of the powerful witness of a listening ear.
3. Visit with Someone. My wife has a knack for just stopping to visit with people, and they love her for it. When I ask her about why she stopped, she responds with something like, “Many people just need a visit.” You may not need it with your busy schedule, but there is someone who does.
4. Give Little Thoughtful Gestures. A small gift can be more powerful than a large one. These gifts mean you were thinking of me, especially when it was not a holiday or birthday. Something as simple as a coupon to my favorite restaurant can have meaning if given properly.
5. Stating Your Appreciation. Before you rush off to your next appointment say, “Thank You, I appreciate your hard work.” Thanks for volunteering. Thanks for going above and beyond the call of duty. Tell people you appreciate the impact they are making in the world. Many individuals serve and think that no one notices, let them know that you see their effort.
In a world ravaged by wildfires and flooded by hurricanes, there is no shortage of great things we can do to shine the light of faith. Don’t forget that you also have an impact on the people who bump into you every day. Be sure to shine your light where God has placed you.