Hide it under a bushel….NO!
Luke 11:33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
We listen to a lot of children’s songs in our house! So much truth is conveyed in the simplicity of many of these songs. I love to hear Caroline learn to sing these songs. She is absorbing so much scripture through them.
This part of the song (hide it under a bushel) has always been convicting to me. How many times have I hid my light around those around me so I wouldn’t stand out in the crowd. When I was growing up, I was sometimes ashamed of my witness. It was difficult to have to sit outside in the hallway during Halloween activities because I wasn’t allowed by my parents to participate in them. Oh for a bushel on some of those days! But as I began to understand why I needed to take a stand against certain things, the bushel was something that I felt like I wanted less and less.
What do you think about when you hear the word bushel? For me, it is the produce stand…corn to be exact. I have vivid memories of sitting on the front porch shucking ears of corn out of a bushel. A bushel….a unit of measure.
Matt. 7:1″Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
What is your unit of measure? Is it by your own standards? “Well, I go to church every time the door is open” or “I teach Sunday School“, “I send Christian emails“, “I don’t cuss“, “I don’t drink“, “I don’t watch those filthy movies“, “I don’t hang out with people like that“, or “I don’t think one should _________”. Oh boy, do I have a problem with this at times! It is so easy to compare others to your own standard. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It reminds me that I may not be perfect, but I am more spiritual than she is. What in the world? Who do we think we are that WE set the standards?
Christians are so very hard on each other. The outside world sees this and is turned off by what they see. We are so busy making sure everybody else is measuring up to our standards that we lose focus. They see us abandon our brother that is going through a tough trial, or criticize each other within the church, or condemn non-Christians for not acting like Christians. It is when we are using that bushel that we are seen as “hypocrites“. Our light is there…it is just covered up and barely flickering…NOT EFFECTIVE.
Being a Christian should make you different….but it shouldn’t make you intolerable. So many times we get wrapped up in the do’s and dont’s of our theology that we forget about the simplicity of the Gospel. Simply…Love God, Love People. When we are consumed with those 2 principles, the judgmental mentality we have should disappear. We realize that OUR righteousness is as filthy rags. I am having to embrace a life of love. My problems are no more important than someone else’s. I don’t need to walk around making it obvious that I am in a bad mood. I don’t need to “de-friend” people because they don’t live up to my standards. I don’t want people coming to me to find out what is wrong! I want people to be drawn to me because I have something in my life that they so desperately need to find out about! All it takes most of the time is a simple smile. Is it fake some days….yes, indeed! Some days I am hurting, sometimes I am anxious, sometimes I am merely exhausted, but I always have HOPE (and Adam who has to hear me out on those days!) So many people that we see day to day need this HOPE! It is what separates us from the darkness in this world.
Don’t hide that precious Light under a bushel of intimidation or of condemnation. Set it on a candlestick and let it decorate your life! “You are the Light of the World, a city that is set on a hill that cannot be hid!” You have so much to offer to those around you. The ones that we are often critical of are the very ones that need to be filled with His Light. Try spending more time around one of those people today….let them see the Light of the World in you.