In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin writes of trying to convince the citizens of Philadelphia to light the streets at night. This would assist people in evening travel as well as be a protection against crime. But he was not able to persuade them by his words alone. So here’s what he did—he bought an attractive lantern and placed it on a long bracket that extended from the front of his house. Each evening at dusk, he lit the lantern. His neighbors noticed the warm glow in front of his home. People walking by appreciated the way the light helped them make their way over the rough cobblestone streets. And you know what happened? Others began placing lanterns in front of their homes. Soon the city recognized the need for well-lighted streets and history was changed.
Philippians 2:14-16 says,
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like lights in the world as you hold forth the word of life.”
In other words, your life in Christ is both show and tell. You remember that from kindergarten, right? Both are essential—what you do and what you say. Are people seeing the difference the Lord is making in your life? Does your life reflect the truth of His word? Are people seeing His love, His joy in you? Or are they seeing something else, are they seeing pride, worry, negativity, self-absorption, or some other sin? Do you need to pray the prayer of Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” ? The good news is the Lord is faithful and ready to forgive and renew us when we ask in faith, and to restore our flickering light to again blaze brightly.