Have you ever looked back at something from childhood and wondered, what in tarnation was I thinking?

As children, we had a blast trying to catch enough fireflies to make a night light for our bedrooms using a canning jar. Sometimes though, we used to hold the bug until its tail lit up nice and bright and then pinched it off. We rubbed its glowing bottom on our fingers and pretended we were wearing shiny, diamond rings.

What in the world?

We flashed our fingers around in the dark, lit up with glowing bug butts, and pretended we were rich. We didn’t give one iota about the poor bug missing part of its body. I’m embarrassed to say I even I did this.

I know it’s just a bug. But I can’t help but think I killed a lot of God’s unique critters for my own personal temporary glory. I loved seeing my fingers aglow, shining in the dark summer night.

Now, I’d never pinch the tail from a lightning bug and put it on my finger. Instead, I’m in awe of God’s handiwork and creativity. How did He make a bug that glows?

Since I’ve grown up, I find I still like shiny things. But as a Christian, I desire to represent God well, here on earth. How do I shine my light in a way that doesn’t involve lightning bugs and personal glory?

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people 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 5:14-17 NIV)

When I read that casually, I think, Oh, I know. I’ll be the light by doing good deeds and then others will see my light shining. But that’s backwards.

In the passage, Jesus said let your light shine before others. Then he said that they may see your good deeds. Subconsciously, I wanted to insert some personal glory. I wanted my good deeds to be the light.

He also said, “You are the light.” So, how do we become the light?

When we are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, we are lit’.

We become the ‘light of the world’ at that moment. We don’t do good works to light up the world. The good deeds are a result of us being reborn through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What are the effects of being lit?

* We are the light
* We’re on fire for God
* We fall madly in love with Jesus
* We shine through the power of the Holy Spirit
* We do good deeds
* Like moths are drawn to a flame, others are drawn to our light and then see our good works. This brings God glory.

So, shine on, my friend. No lightning bugs needed.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Fill us with Your powerful Holy Spirit so we are born again. Make us the light of the world so others are drawn to You. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Melinda Eye Cooper