The other day I was asked a question that comes up often when I meet new friends.
I was asked, “Sadie, how can I be a light to those around me?”
The truth is there are so many answers to this question. As a child of God, there are endless routes we can take to bring light into the dark places in this life. He uses our gifts, our passions, and our circumstances to speak to us individually on how to be a light for Him.
What I shared with her though, and what I want to share with you today, is not a one track formula, but rather a posture or an attitude that we can take with us into any situation.
This posture is called gratitude.
Gratitude means, “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”.
I love that idea of being ready to show appreciation. When we have an attitude that says we’re ready and willing to appreciate each thing that comes our way, we are able to see how God is working in our lives in a deeper way.
I told to her that if we want to live a grateful, light-bearing life, we need to bring this into the smallest of situations.
Like I said, I love this. And I love analogies.
So when I was explaining this idea to my friend, I reached my hand into the nearby bowl of pink and red M&M’s (who can resist an edible example?), and told her that my response to the candy will translate in how I approach and talk about anything else in life.
Here’s what I mean: If I reach in and get a handful and say to my friends, “Wow, I love M&M’s. They’re just the best and I’m thankful someone put them here so that I can enjoy them.” I am speaking in a tone that frees my heart up for more gratitude.
Call me crazy, but that tone and perspective I am choosing will transfer into my next conversation and stay with me throughout my day.
We never know when God is going to give us an opportunity to point someone to Jesus. In fact, many times we are influencing someone without us even knowing it! So, if that’s the case, why not practice our readiness for appreciation principle at all times?
Friend, trust me, it is very difficult to go throughout your day being negative and closed off and then turn around and have a conversation about Jesus. It doesn’t work.
Paul writes in Colossians 4:6 (ESV): “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
The simple gratitude toward a bowl of M&M’s has the ability to shift our eyes to see the good in all things. Not only does this bring influence and light to those around you, but it also prepares your heart for worship. It prepares you for connecting with the Father.
Gratitude is the sweetest worship to God.
Have you ever been in a place and out of nowhere, the group you’re with breaks out in worship?
It might have been at a summer camp or with a new church family at someone’s house or at a bonfire with friends sitting around a crackling fire.
A song starts. People stand awkwardly in waves because no one told them exactly when to rise. Peoples hands start gripping the chair in front of them or clasping them together (awkward hands are a real struggle, friends).
But then, something starts to shift.
You begin to think about all that God has done in your life. You start singing along; you catch the melody and you start pondering the words of the song. All of a sudden, you look down to find your hands slightly freer than they were before. You can’t explain it, but there’s a calmness and a joy that comes over the space in your heart and all over the room around you. And those sneaky, unexplained tears come to your eyes as you lean in to the worship.
Why does this happen?
Gratitude leads to worship.
Psalm 148: 7-13 (ESV) says, “Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountain and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.”
All of heaven and earth, all people, all aspects of what’s been created by our Good Father is made to worship Him. This includes you and me.
Are you ready for a grateful life that lights up all that God is doing in and around you? A life that causes people to look at you and say, “Wow, they have such an unexplained joy and freedom in their life. I want that.”
So to answer the original question of how to be a light to those around us, I would argue it is a constant posture of gratitude and worship.
Gratitude in worship. Gratitude in relationships. Gratitude in ALL THINGS.
Treat yourself to a pack of M&M’s today as a reminder for ALL that God has provided for you. Even better, buy an extra pack to pass on to a friend and share with them what God’s doing in your life.
Truly, His gifts are pretty sweet 🙂
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