You Were Born to Shine

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“People [do not] 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” —Matthew 5:15, 16, NIV

Light has been a significant part of our human existence and experience. It was with us from the beginning: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3, NIV). Light appeared out of darkness, and light continues to come out of darkness daily when the night skies give way to the early morning sunrise.

Though both light and darkness have their place, clinical psychologist John Mayer, PhD, reports that an estimated 11 percent of the population of the United States of America fears the dark—in essence, they prefer to be in constant light.

They like the light to be on even when they are asleep.

One day, I was conversing with a lady I met at a women’s retreat.

As we spoke, she began to share a personal struggle.

She felt deeply called to do something far out of the norm and character for her. I inquired about her major concerns regarding making this move of faith.

She shared many fears, but what stood out most was her fear that if she did this thing that she believed God was calling her to do, she would outshine her husband, which might mean that she was not a good Christian woman.

Sadly, as I interact with thousands of women annually, I have come across similar trends of thought. Christian women are struggling to shine their light or are trying to dim theirs to leave room for the light of others to shine. In her famous poem “Our Deepest Fear,” Marianne Williamson speaks to the power of letting our light shine: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” The truth is that, as you shine your light, you become a conduit that others can plug in to and shine their light.

As you shine your light, you lead the way for others, and they will come to know your Father, who is in heaven. Today, God is calling you and reminding you in Matthew 5:16 to be light so that you can light the world!

Nadine A. Joseph-Collins

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