Do You Have God on a Dimmer Switch?

24 Sep

In my last blog Ah, the Mona Lisa, I pointed out how imitations of something don’t affect the true worth of the original. I used the Mona Lisa as an example. We all know this to be true. I then said negative attitudes toward Jesus based on what people see in His followers is like rejecting the masters’ paintings because the copies are flawed.

That blog could be interpreted as me speaking to those attacking Christianity, but when I wrote, “a lot of the vilification directed at Jesus and all believers result from the imperfect representations of Jesus,” I hoped to challenge all who call themselves Christian. Would their expressions of Jesus resemble a fine painting or a cartoon?

The apostle John gave us another analogy: light versus darkness. Drawing from the Psalms and prophets, John wrote that at the core, the message of the gospel is God is light and no darkness can be found in Him. (See 1 John 1:5) He goes on to say that we can’t claim we are in Him if we walk in darkness. Think of it this way: imagine having just one of those football field lights in your living room. The brightness of the light bounces off every object in the room with such intensity that all shadows disappear. In response, we shield our eyes and fumble for the dimmer switch to bring the light down to allow some darkness back into the room—not to total darkness again, but to a level where we are comfortable.

Jesus said, “Let your light shine, (Matthew 5:16 NASV). I would add brightly because the verse goes on to say the light should cause men to glorify God for the good work they see in you. Dimming God’s light in us so we fit better in our circles runs contrary to God’s heart and Jesus’ command.

I should note that some of us in the body have the ease and ability to stand out. Perhaps in communication, leadership, or casting vision. We have to be on our guard to be sure it is God’s light shining and not our own. Pride and presumption can sneak into our lives and become an offense to others.

How do we find the balance?

Focus on becoming comfortable standing in His light. We mustn’t reach for the dimmer switch to adjust God’s light shining on us. His goal is to make us into the likeness of His Son, that requires changes in us. And change is uncomfortable. Our choices are simple. Accept the changes with its discomfort and rejoice. Or, reach for the dimmer switch to stay in what we know. Become like Jesus? or attempt to change Him into our likeness? Paul’s answer to those who say they are Christians is to seek and set your affections on things above where Jesus is sitting beside the Father, (Colossians 3:1-3).

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