“Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be blameless and innocent. You will be God’s children without any faults among people who are crooked and corrupt. You will shine like stars among them in the world as you hold firmly to the Word of Life. Then I can brag on the day of Christ that my effort was not wasted and that my work produced results.”
Growing up in a pastor’s family, one of the consistent dynamics was that of “being watched.” I hated that! But it was a reality. And tied to that was the “What would people think?!” theme. UGH! As a child, that awareness seemed like a curse.
But it is a reality. Being watched was a reality in the days of Jesus, and in the lives of all of His Followers.
Paul compares it to the global experience of seeing stars in the sky. Every sighted person on earth, throughout time, looks at the stars in the night skies. They show up in the darkness. It’s a natural occurrence from catching the reflection of the Sun.
I remember, especially in my early times in the desert, total strangers commenting to me that they “see Light” in me. Often it was followed with a remark of “darkness” being their common experience. This was curious to me, as there was nothing intentional on my part to look like “light.” I didn’t see it. But they did.
Paul gives us some super practical suggestions on how it looks to “glow” in the darkness of our world:
“Do everything without complaining…
“….. or arguing.”
“…be God’s children without faults among people who are crooked and corrupt.”
“…hold firmly to the Word of Life.”
God gives us a tangible picture of how this looks: Children. Watch them. Learn from them. Children who are well loved, as we are by our Father, are notable in their responses to their parents and others who love them.
As we walk through our days, the surrounding “darkness” is easy to see. But there’s something wonderful that can only be seen in that darkness: Stars. Points of Light become clear, bringing Light in the darkness, beauty that causes us to look UP, and a sense of Presence, Order, and Power that is far above anything this old earth could create. They don’t have to work hard to generate their Light and Beauty in the darkness.
They simply reflect the Source.