Warning: if you grew up going to church, I’m about to rip into one of the classic children’s songs.

You’ve heard the song. You may have sung it a lot as a kid. You may have even annoyed your parents singing it non-stop on the family road trip.

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

(You just now sang it in your head, didn’t you?)

I have a problem with that song. It’s the phrase “This little light of mine.” It sounds like the light is something I possess, something separate from me that I can pick up—or put down. But that’s not what the Bible says.

“You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14).

In Christ, light is not something we possess; light is what we are.

To get a handle on what that means, let me point to something Jesus said about Himself:

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world.'” (John 8:12).

Wait a minute. Which is it? Am I the light of the world or is Jesus?

It’s both.

Jesus made seven I AM statements …

  1. I am the Bread of life (6:35).
  2. I am the Light of the world (8:12).
  3. I am the Gate for the sheep (10:7).
  4. I am the Good Shepherd (v. 11).
  5. I am the Resurrection and the Life (11:25)
  6. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6).
  7. I am the Vine (15:5).

… but light is the only one He applied to us also. We can never be the bread of life … or the resurrection … or the vine, but we can be the light because Jesus is the Light—and we are to fully reflect Him.

You may have heard the old illustration that we reflect the Sun just as the moon reflects the sun. We simply reflect His light. That’s certainly true, but the moon is not nearly as bright as the sun it reflects. And shouldn’t we fully reflect His light?

The nerd in me likes fiber optic cable. We moved into a new house a few months ago, and they wired the house for fiber optic cable. Whiz-bang, that stuff is fast. I experience absolutely no delay in seeing the kitten videos friends are constantly sharing. A kitten video can circle the globe in one-seventh of a second. Our old-school phones transmit on wires; cell phones use radio signals; fiber optics uses light.

They take a single strand of glass that is one-tenth as thick as one of your hairs. They send the light signal through that glass by “bouncing” it at just the right angles. The glass acts as a mirror, bouncing the light all the way to my house. The cable has an outer layer of glass called the cladding that keeps the light inside the cable and helps keep the light bouncing and reflecting all the way—with no loss of strength!

The light at one end of the fiber optic cable is just as strong and bright as where it originated. That’s what I want my life to be like. I don’t want to reflect a lesser image of Christ. I want to be a mirror, letting His light fully shine through me.

Unlike the children’s song, there is nothing “little” about this light. I want to be a full-on mirror of Christ.

For a printable version: click here.

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