Deciding to Reflect the Sun - Reading List

Deciding to Reflect the Sun

Friday, March 25, 2016

Deciding to Reflect the Sun

Refusing to Be The Focus & Choosing to Reflect 

"I cannot believe she did that! I mean she says she is a Christian."

"How can he say such a thing? Maybe he is not really a Christian... you know just one of those churchy people on Sundays."

"There is no way I would become a Christian.  There is too much pressure to be a perfect little Jesus... lots of rules... no way."

Do any of these sentiments sound familiar?  Maybe they have been said about you...  Or maybe you've said them about someone else?  

Deep down I know that all people are flawed and very susceptible to making mistakes, or saying the wrong thing (Christians call these behaviors sin).  Since all people sin, that means that Christians sin too. Yes, even devout Christians who go to church weekly, spend time in prayer daily, serve their community and are full of hospitality for so many people. (Romans 3:23)

Yet the mentality that Christians must be perfect is hard to overcome. (Romans 7:15) There are expectations... expectations that cannot be met, as people are not perfect. And really, where did this idea come from?

Deciding to Reflect the Sun

A while ago I shared a great book - The Memory of Light - with you all.  One small, almost random point made in that book quickly stuck in my mind.  Of course, my wondering mind started to ponder it and pray over it... and this exact sentiment and expectation started to clear up.

Around halfway through the book, the main character is in a counseling session with her doctor, and the doctor gives her these words of advice:
"You are not the clouds or even the blue sky where clouds live. You are the sun behind them, giving light to all, and the sun is made up goodness and kindness and life." p 111

Now if you read the book, this will sound like good advice for the characters.  And for many readers, this might sound like good advice in general. This is where the idea gets started that we, people, are the sun, "giving light to all"  is an issue.  Especially when Christians use the term "Light of the World" often enough that not-yet-believers know it... And expect it.

The root issue comes from the idea that we are the sun - the mentality that leads to the statements from above.  If Christians are the Light of the World, and the sun gives light to all, then Christians need to be shining brightly all the time, never stumbling, or saying the wrong thing.   People are not so powerful, not really.

A dangerous side point comes when Christians start to believe that they are superior because they are the ones lighting the world. Starting to believe that we are the sun, taking on that responsibility, becoming the center of the universe, is just not a role we were created for.

The key point is that as people, we have been created to be image-bearers. (Genesis 1:26-27) Specifically, God, the Creator, made us in order to bear His image - we were created (all people) to reflect His glory and light. Christians quickly learn that God created all people to reflect His glory and so they strive to do so.  But reflecting light is not the same as creating it.

For people who have never seen the glorious brightness of the sun, the moon is amazingly bright.

We (Christians and not-yet-believers) are more like the moon than the sun.  We reflect the glorious light of the source of light, the sun, on to the darkness of the world in night. Christians try to take on this responsibility while most not-yet-believers will try to reflect another's light, or even become little suns themselves.

For people who have never seen the glorious brightness of the sun, the moon is amazingly bright.  It can seem "perfect" - something to rely on to always glow brilliantly.  But we know that the moon is only reflecting an even more powerful light. The moon goes through phases of brightness, sometimes it goes so dark that it isn't visible.  But the sun continues to give life no matter what the moon reflects.  And that is what Christians needs to remember - we do not have to be the sun. We just have to focus on reflecting the Glorious Light of the Creator.

Reflecting light is not the same as creating it. @Reading_List1

Have you heard any of the sentiments from the beginning of this post?  Felt like saying them? How do you deal with the pressure to be "perfect" as a Christian? Is this why you won't want to become a Christian?

Marissa  @ Reading List

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