If you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2:19–24, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “A light for those who are in the dark.” To this we have been called. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14–16, NIV).
Yet often, rather than shining a light such that people see the goodness of God, we engage in the same darkness that is casting a lengthening shadow. The reason that the shadows are lengthening is because we have strayed from the source of the light that we are supposed to reflect. And the further we are away from the source of our light, the longer the shadow.
“If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23, NIV 1984). Notice that this sentence, which includes the word “how,” does not end with a question mark, but rather an exclamation point. Jesus is not asking a question. He is proclaiming a horrible consequence of worldliness by His followers. How great, indeed. If what is called to be light (the Church that is in the world) dims into darkness (through either neglect or disobedience), then the darkness in the world is great indeed. No wonder “God’s name is blasphemed among the [ungodly].”
My Advice – Christianity is being “cancelled” today. It can either be because of the above dimming of the light causing the world to see our hypocrisy, or it can be because the light we shine hurts their “eyes” as it illuminates the truths of God and Jesus Christ. It’s easier for them to cancel the light than to open their eyes. In the first instance, we have really cancelled ourselves. In the second instance, the attempt at cancellation can have no lasting effect on us, but eternal consequences for them. Be among the latter.