Sometimes jealousy strikes me when I least expect it. It could be a Facebook post where someone shared a great thought or perception of their life. I am ashamed to say that I find myself closing my heart to that person.
And then I must do the brave and honest thing if I want my light to keep shining out into my world and open my heart to that person once again.
Maybe you are like me and find your heart opening and closing many times in a day. Open to the prospects of a new day and then closed again because someone said something hurtful or jealousy crossed your path.
Whatever it is closing our hearts and leaving them shut is hurtful to us and not anyone else. That person on Facebook has no idea what happened, so you haven’t hurt them. Good on them for showing up and making a good point or posting a great photo.
Yet, for years I was afraid to show up and allow my true self to be seen — the bright, sometimes loud and over-the-top me. I remember telling myself to “tone it down” you don’t want to attract attention to yourself.
Jesus emphasized that we are His light to a dying world.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15. Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand and it gives light to all who are in the house.” 16. 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.” (Matthew 5:14-26)
Christ said He would draw all men through His light shining in us. Hiding under a barrel and holding onto traumas and past wounding blocks the light of God’s love. It is God’s presence in us that draws men and women to Him.
I think many women are afraid to show up too much especially when we attend a gathering. We want to dim our light. Basically, hide it under a barrel.
Our tendency is to tone ourselves down even before we leave the house. Many times I put on an outfit that was fun, and maybe a bit over- the- top, but just before leaving the house I would change my mind and put something more subdued on.
Over a year ago, I attended a ladies gathering with about 30 women in attendance. After sitting down and taking a look around, I realized that over half the women were wearing black and many of them wore all black from head to toe.
I remember asking myself “am I at a fun ladies event or a funeral?”
When that many women show up in black it indicates there is the underlying fear of “showing up too much.” We want to fit in and not appear outside the box in any way, shape or form.
There are many women who days before an event struggle with what to wear and how to present themselves to the world.
In John 13:32 , God reminds us that He wants His light to shine through us so that He can draw people to Him.
This is how the world is saved because people are drawn to the light of God’s truth in us. Saved by graced, redeemed by the blood of Christ and loved for who we are. No darkness shines on us from the face of the Father only the light of His love. Our sins are forgiven and we walk in freedom because we embrace our value as a child of God. We are meant to shine!
It can be our own pettiness that blocks God’s light in us, like a Facebook post, or maybe we need to forgive someone. Forgiveness allows us to open our hearts once again to those who misunderstood or wounded us.
Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother or sister, seven times?
“Jesus answered, I tell you,not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:22)
Forgiveness is boundless and we are to open our hearts again and again to our offenders.
The world will be drawn to Christ through us as we bravely do the work needed to unveil our true selves and let the light of His love shine forth.