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Let Your Light Shine Before Others…
“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16). This is what it means to be a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ: we must be shining examples of Christ’s love in the small environments of our daily worlds. We must live the gospel for all to see. We live in a “take care of number 1” world today. Maybe it has always been so, but it seems to have achieved unprecedented capital in our self-absorbed times. The common environment at every level seems to be driven by competition and comparison. The need to be recognized, to be acclaimed, to stand above the crowd leads to work and social environments that are cutthroat, riven with gossip, innuendo, even lies for the sake of winning, being on top, at the top of the heap. Those who are at the top have to keep the eyes and ears open to prevent others from taking their position. In such environments everyone gets caught up in comparing themselves to others. Those who see themselves as “better than” others, treat everybody else accordingly. Those who see themselves as “not as good as,” or “less than” others are driven by petty jealousies, resentment, and bitterness, or feelings of revenge. Jesus is calling us to turn away from such thinking and acting. He asks us to do as he did, to be people for others. We are to serve, rather than be served. We are to even sacrifice for the common good of others. This passage comes in the middle of his Sermon on the Mount. It follows immediately after the Beatitudes and comes before his teachings on the law, and on anger and retaliation and divorce. As disciples of Jesus we are to be poor…