“No one who after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” (Matthew 5:15 NRSV)
Have I been hiding my light under a bushel basket?
I think so.
Of course, there have been times when I have not had the time to share and others when it has been prudent to remain quiet.
But I think there have also been times when I have been afraid to say what is on my mind and heart… afraid to share the Gospel. Afraid of what others might say. Afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. Afraid to be a fool. Have you ever felt that way?
That is not from Jesus.
“God did not give us a spirit of timidity [some translations say “spirit of cowardice.”] but of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed, then, of testifying to our Lord… who saved us and called us with a holy calling not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which He gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago.” (2 Tim. 1:7-9 RSV)
God did not give us a spirit of timidity, of cowardice. I should not be ashamed… When I hear those words, I feel my heart burning with encouragement to share with others. I just want to share what God has done in my life and what He can do in others.
I think the thing is to be in God’s grace, and in every circumstance, to listen for His voice to know when to speak and when to be quiet. We have to be still in order to hear Him. That can be challenging, but it is essential. We have to learn what His voice sounds like and listen only to Him.