Guest Contributor: Amanda Beth
In today’s society, it’s hard to hold to this verse. Practically everywhere we go something obscene is advertised. Indecency is so accepted today that we often don’t realize the effects it has on us. Matthew 6:22-24 explains, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
When we receive Jesus, His Holy Spirit comes to live and shine His light in us. Sin is darkness. When we fill ourselves with sin, we cover His light in us with our darkness.Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
I always thought this verse meant I needed to share my faith in Christ and not hide it from people. I thought it meant I was to announce I was a Christian to everyone I met. That’s not what this verse means. Jesus was telling us when people look at us, they should be thirsty for what they see in us (hence the salt). Putting our “lamp under a bowl” means we cover the Holy Spirit’s light from being displayed through us to draw others to Christ. The bowl is the covering of sin we fill our eyes, mind, and heart with.
It also doesn’t just cover His light to prevent the world from seeing; it covers His light for us to see as well. When we cover Jesus’ light in us we become blind. We become blind to recognizing His voice and His Spirit’s leading. Therefore, we lose sight and direction.
When I gave my heart over to Christ ten years ago, I began laying down things from my old way of living and started replacing them with things that pleased and glorified God. I slowly gave up my secular music in exchange for Christian music and teaching CD’s. I slowly gave up my favorite secular shows and replaced them with my favorite television preachersand family friendly shows that didn’t contaminate my mind. I gave up my worldly magazines and books in exchange for the Bible and other Christian books. I gave up the bars and the partying lifestyle in exchange for Bible studies and fellowshipping with other believers.
At first, giving up some of these things was difficult, especially giving up my favorite TV shows. I was often ridiculed, even by Christians, for laying things down and restraining from doing certain things. At times, I thought there was something wrong with me for wanting to get rid of those things. It wasn’t until years later did I see the benefits and reasons behind God prompting me to get rid of them.
As the years went by, I saw the more I gave up, the closer I grew to God, and the deeper our relationship became. Matthew 5:8 says,“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”I didn’t see God like I see Him now until I rid myself of those things that hindered His Spirit from being displayed in me. I can now recognize God’s voice because I know Him.
Thank you Amanda for such a great message and for sharing your personal story of how righteous living is truly better living!