The Lies About Your Light
The other day I got a nasty message from someone who told me that my posts make them sick and that Bound Blessings is cancer to social media. He told me that if other people acted and presented themselves like me, nothing would ever get done, because “faith in things that will never happen is terrible.” He used many other choice words I won’t waste my time repeating.
I obviously struck a nerve with him. I had received a terrible message from him earlier on this year too. I wrote about him in my journal almost every night and prayed for him every single day. I decided to respond after a couple months had gone by after the initial message. And I waited.
Then I was sitting in my dorm room this week feeling all stressed out and overwhelmed. I had just finished planning Orientation for over 500 first-years, and classes were about to begin. I was behind with my blogs and Bound Blessings stuff. I felt worry and fear knocking at the door.
Then my phone buzzed.
I picked it up and looked at a long message from this guy again telling me to basically sit down, shut up, and feel bad about myself. At first, I wasn’t that hurt. But then I sat in it for a while… and the pain hit.
Maybe it’s true. Maybe I’m not worthy. Maybe I should just sit down, shut up, and be like everybody else. Maybe I should stop chasing after things that other people won’t take a step towards.
But then I opened up my Bible to Matthew 5. I want you to soak this in:
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that - count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens - give a cheer, even! - for though they don’t like it, I do. And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company.”
The devil is going to attack when he knows you’re weak. He’s going to attack when you feel the most lost and fearful. He’s waiting for the right time to pounce. “He prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to devour,” (1 Peter 5:8).
And those things he uses to devour us? They’re lies. He knows our insecurities. He knows our weaknesses. We just have to have the strength to speak the truth and shine our light.
So choose that truth. Bring on the persecution. Bring on the lies. Bring on the fear. Bring on the insults and the name-calling and the assumptions and the pain. Bring on all the weight.
Can I carry it? No.
But my God can.
And He rejoices when we deal with persecution. He rejoices when we get things thrown at us by others. Because you know what? Truth is knocking. Truth is waiting to be answered, and your persecutors can feel it. They just are too afraid to open the door.
So I’m right here right now telling you to open the door for them. Over and over and over again, open that door. Continue to pursue whatever it is God is calling you towards. Continue to strive toward whatever it is that’s on your heart.
You are blessed. You are light.
Matthew 5:14-16 tells us, “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.”
So that guy wants me to take my light and hide it. He wants me to put it away so that no one can see it.
But guess what? He can see that light shine. And there was something within him that stirred enough for him to reach out to me. He could’ve just unfollowed me, he could’ve just blocked me, he could’ve just ignored me. But he sees that light. And he’s attracted to it, whether he admits it or not.
- He may have told me that I’m cancer to social media, but God has shown me that I bring healing to it.
- He may have told me that I’m too young and naive to do anything with my life, but God has shown me that my age doesn’t matter. I have saved lives, changed lives, and answered the call despite my youth.
- He may have told me that I think everything is perfect and that I live in a bubble that he wants to burst, but God has shown me that even though this world sucks sometimes, I live in His love and truth and Word. I really don’t need anything more.
- He may have told me that I’m fake and superficial, but God says I’m messed up and broken, but worthy and real.
- He may have told me not to waste my prayers on him, but God has shown me the healing that comes through prayer, so I’ll pray all I want for him and continue to do so every day of my life.
So let’s take our messes and our struggles and the persecutions and lies, and let’s keep shining. Let’s continue to walk with purpose, leaning on the One that gives us love, truth, and that light.
Because they sang it best in church this morning: Your name is a light that the shadows can’t deny. Your name cannot be overcome. Your name is alive forever lifted high. Your name cannot be overcome.
Keep shining that light, and don’t you dare hide it. Soon enough that light will help others find their way out of the dark.