Letting Your Lil Light Shine | day 17: leave a positive message

I'm going to say something we all know, but don't always follow: We don't have to see the receiver's reaction to our random act of kindness. In fact, it's even better if we don't. It adds a dose of altruism that's missing when we stick around for a thank you.

Take for instance Matthew 6:3-4...
But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

The good things we do, as much as possible, should be kept a secret from ourselves and from our receivers. In a way that they will see something good that has been done, but not who did it. And we may know that we tried to do something good, but cannot boast at how well "our good deed" was received.

Here's the part of this story that I never put together... this doesn't mean everything we do should be done in quiet and without notice.

Jesus said: You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. {Matthew 5:14-16}

When I think about our light shining like a city on a hill, I picture a big and obvious statement. A positive message that you can't miss. Something like the message photographed above. A note Daniel inscribed in the sand while he was home for Thanksgiving. Then sent me a picture of the message. A message of love. And endearment. And that he misses me, and looks forward to returning.

What is our message to all around us? What would Jesus have us say for Him, and how are we sharing that? Maybe with a smile, friendly conversation, or a kind gesture. What about those things we can do and walk away from? Those little acts that might leave a big impact and only room to glorify the Father.

When I think about one gesture that does this, I think about leaving positive messages in public places. Writing out Zephaniah 3:17 on a sticky note and leaving it on the mirror in a public restroom. Writing inspiring messages in chalk on a sidewalk.

What else could we do to be the unhidden lights of the world while keeping our name a secret? A small gesture. One that maybe won't change anyone's life. But that's not for us to know, is it?