Living as Light in the World

Whether or not the Christian should separate himself from the world is not open to debate; the question was settled by the sacred Scriptures, an authority from which there can be no appeal. The New Testament is very plain: “They are not of the world,” said our Lord, “even as I am not of the world.” James wrote, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God” Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” John said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Such teaching as this would appear to be plain enough, and there should be no doubt about what is intended. But we must never underestimate the ability of the human mind to get lost on a paved highway in broad daylight. Some well-intentioned souls have managed to get themselves confused about their relation to the world and have sought to escape it by hiding from it. They read into the biblical command to separate from the world the idea of complete withdrawal from all human activities and seek peace of heart by cutting themselves off, as far as possible, from the great stream of human life and thought. And that is not good.


You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14–16


If God had wanted us completely out of the world He could have taken us home to heaven at the time of our spiritual birth. No, we are to be in the world but not of it. We are to shine as light in the world system’s darkness.


Forgive me, Lord, for unhealthy accommodation to the world in which I live. May I not forget that I am a stranger here with citizenship in heaven—but a stranger ablaze with the light of Christ.