We should be a love light for Christ Jesus

My elderly mother enjoys having breakfast at a popular local restaurant. We have a favorite table that usually waits for us, and she always orders their hash browns no matter what.

This morning, a young couple with two youngsters were seated at the next booth, but if you didn’t notice the children when you walked in, you wouldn’t have known they were there. They were soft spoken and very well behaved.

As we were leaving, I took a moment to compliment the parents on their beautiful children and their excellent restaurant manners.

I’m not one to initiate passing remarks. Ordinarily, I would have simply followed Mother out the door. This time, though, I was compelled to stop and comment.

Earlier that same morning I heard a sermon from Joel Osteen that we can preach a sermon with our life. The idea of having one’s life become an unspoken sermon struck me like a bright light catching my eyes.

Osteen said that if we are to be the light of the world, from Matthew 5:14, we need to be turned on and ready with our best efforts: Have a positive attitude, keep ourselves well groomed, be an encourager, and be open with the people we meet throughout our day.

When we live for Christ, we glow like lights, showing others what He is like. Some of those traits include showing mercy and love to others, being slow to anger, and keeping our hearts faithful to our families.

If we choose to be quiet when we should speak up, we hide our light. When we go along with the crowd, ignoring the needs of others, our light dims.

Keeping a sour, negative attitude, disrespects our Lord. With a bad attitude, we are of little value to Him.

Read through the fifth and sixth chapters of Matthew to see the direct teaching on how to be a light for the world. He calls all of His disciples to rise above mediocrity, to exceed and mature as we go through life with Him.

Following Jesus is not always easy or comfortable. But, when we practice reverent love, it shows. It means I respect you, I care for you, I am responsible.

In 1 Cor. 13:4-8, Paul defines love as being patient and kind, not rude and self-serving. Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres.

Being a love light means doing what we can to help others, whether it be a simple smile to someone while we wait in the checkout line at the grocery, or jotting an encouraging note to a shut-in. We don’t know what that person is going through, and an honest smile or that little note might just be a bit of unexpected light on their day.

Saying thank-you or paying a little compliment while making eye contact takes only minimal effort and time, yet are acts of kindness and good will.

As we serve God, we respond easier to our love light assignments. It becomes natural to express genuine encouragement to others. Our fellowship with those we come in contact in these days are just a taste of what the fulfillment will be when we are in God’s presence in heaven.

As Mother and I continued our walk toward the door of the restaurant that morning, I heard the mother ask the children, did you hear what the lady said? She said you were well behaved, and I’m very proud of you!

I thought to myself, that mother is a lovely light for her children. Thanks be to God.

Bonnie Donnelly is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Marietta. Thoughts of Faith is a weekly column written by various ministers and lay people. Those interested in scheduling date for writing a Thoughs of Faith column should contact Jennifer Houtman at 740-373-2121, ext. 500 or jhoutman@mariettatimes.com. Or, if a Thoughts of Faith column is written at the writer’s convenience and sent to The Times, it will run the first available date.