Friday, August 28, 2015

We are the Light of the World; Shining for God at School

We are the Light of the World; Shining for God at School 

By Sarah P.
As the new school year approaches, many girls around the world are either looking forward to or dreading going back to school. I know you ladies come from many different backgrounds and that some of you are home-schooled, some are private-schooled, and some are public-schooled. Although I’m currently home-schooled, I attended public school for five years and wanted to talk specifically this month about shining for Christ at school. (Home-schooled girls, keep reading! There are ways for you to shine for God at home, too!) 
It’s no secret that a lot of public and private schools are full of secular beliefs, rules, and teachings. Sadly, there are also a lot of kids attending the average middle to high school that aren’t Christian. School can get really complicated with all the social ladders, cliques, bullying, cheating, and violence. When we’re surrounded daily by all the pressures a worldly environment puts on us, we can really wonder how we could ever make things better. 

In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells us, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” 

First Jesus compares us to salt. In Jesus’ time, salt wasn’t just used for seasoning food. There were no refrigerators, so people used salt as a preservative to keep food from going bad. Meat was salted to keep bacteria out. In the same way, we are called to be the salt of the world: to purify it and keep sin out. 
Then Jesus compares us to a city of light and a lamp. In both of those examples He points out that a light is always visible: you can’t miss it any more than you can miss a city on top of a hill. He talks about how no one in their right mind would light a candle and then stick it under a basket. The whole purpose of a lamp is to give light and help people see where they’re going. If you’ve ever been without electricity for a while, you know how wonderful light is! It’s really hard to get around even your bedroom in the dark. Similarly, we are called to show God’s love like a shining light bulb, burning through the darkness to help others see where they’re going—and where they need to be going. 
School can be a pretty dark place to be, but as Christian girls, we have the opportunity (and responsibility) to shine like candles in a dark place. No matter how dark a room is, you can find your way around by the light of just one candle. If each of us would choose to stand for God unashamedly in our schools, everyone would see the light—our fellow students, our teachers, our principles—and be touched by it. No, standing out doesn’t always earn you the approval of others. You might lose some friends. You might be looked down on by some people. But there are others that you’ll touch in ways you might not ever know. Your peers and teachers will see a difference in you, and it will leave a lasting impression that they won’t be able to forget. 
Shine brightly this school year, dear girls. Know that no matter what dark place you walk through, the light of Christ will always see you safely home. 


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