Think About It

An Essay By Damaris Ann // 4/20/2015

Matthew 5:14-16
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

As Christians we have Christ living in us, and this passage of scripture is talking about not being ashamed to show Christ in our lives, or claim that We are His followers.
I would like to share another understanding that I have of this passage.
As human beings God has given us diverse gifts. For instance one may have a talent with carpentry while another has a gift as a pianist, or artist, or maybe you build cars, or invent things, etc. the list goes on. These are all God-given talents to be used for His glory, and to hide them under a bushel would be wrong.
As a stay-at-home daughter I was depressed about this for awhile because I felt like there was no way to use my gift (my voice) without "pursuing a career" and to do that I would no longer be in the home, which is a place set for me by my Lord. So I thought I had hidden my light under a bushel. But then recently God opened my eyes to the fact that I can use my voice in my home and community, and that performing abroad isn't the only way to be heard. So I sing while I wash dishes in the evening, and I sing while I help my neighbor with her chickens twice a week, and I sing a song at our local nursing home when our church does its monthly service there. In fact, I sing all the time!
So the reason that I just gave you my testimony was to encourage you and say this: Don't hide your gift under a bushel and think that there is no use for it because God will make a way, even if you can't see it happening. Pray and ask God to show you how to best use your Gift for His glory. Ask advice from your parents, or if you are on your own seek advice from the Titus Two figure in your life. Be the bright Light that God has called you to be, and never give up on His will for you because no matter how hard you try to cover that Light, it will break through.
And as for the true interpretation of this scripture I believe that it is talking about our faith in Christ, or our stance as Christians. "A city that is set in a hill cannot be hid." So what is He saying here? We are not to be ashamed by or of the gospel of Christ. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid, in fact, it can be seen for miles and miles. As followers of Christ we are not to be ashamed to admit ourselves to be followers, to be seen as "odd," or to be asked if we do something for "some religious reason." God called us His "Peculiar people" and that tells me that we're supposed to stand out, to be an anomaly. Like our forefathers that stood up to the church and said "this is wrong" and came over to America to start a new country where they had the freedom to worship God as He asked. But now that this freedom is being taken away from us we are the odd ones, the anomaly, and what we do is not the "norm." In other countries you will be killed for acknowledging this faith whereas here in America you might be laughed at or (worst case scenario), you could lose your job. Jesus said "Take up your cross and follow me," but what exactly did He mean by that? I don't think He meant "Put a fish sign on the back of your car and continue on your merry way," He meant something more like this; "A greater love hath no man than this, to lay down his life for a friend." "There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." That friend is Jesus, who gave His all for us and literally suffered through hell for us to pay for our sins and take away our guilt so that we could be free. What do we do with that freedom? Throw it back in His face. Why? Because we're sinful wretches that can't even say thank you for the Life that He has given us, a life free from guilt and shame. God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us and to pay for our sin, and we say we're following Him until the first person laughs at us and then we run and hide. Don't hide! Stand up and shine bright. The cross was into the death, and it didn't mean to simply say offhanded "I'm a Christian," it means to live for Christ, and live Christ's life. Being a Christian doesn't only mean to profess Christ, and means to live for Christ. What does it mean to live for Christ? I'm not one of those obsessive "WWJD" people that make it like a game to be a Christian, but I try to gauge everything I do by what He would want me to do. I dress in a way that I think would be pleasing to Him, I try to talk and act in a way that would be pleasing to Him, in fact I try to live my life as if He were right here walking with me all the time. I'm not saying that I always do those things God knows better than me how miserably I fail at that every day. But even though i have my times of wondering why I even bother to try I still know that it is all worth it in the end.
So I am asking you just to think about this: if you profess Christ you should live for Him. Do what you do for Him, or you are not truly His. Jesus said "If ye love me ye will keep My commandments," and 1 John 5:3 says "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."
All I ask is that you think about it. Just think about it.

Accountability is a good thing, and like-minded friends are even better. Here are thinks to two different conferences: one is a homeschooler's conference here in Texas, and the other is a Christian conference in North Carolina.
http://www.forgeministries.org/events/love-one-another/
https://ncfic.org/ in Events you will find "The Highway to Holiness" and that is the conference I will be attending. If any of you wind up attending either one please shoot me an email and I will make sure that I meet up with you. I would love to meet any and all!

Comments

Interesting essay! I can tell

Interesting essay! I can tell that you are very passionate about your viewpoints, which is great. I'm glad that you have been able to find a way to utilize your gift. One critique: "As a stay-at-home daughter I was depressed about this for awhile..." I would use "upset" or "sad" or "disappointed by" rather than "depressed". It's a bit of a personal thing, but I don't like when people use the word depressed lightly, since in reality it is a serious chemical imbalance that cripples (and ends) lives. But that's just a pet peeve of mine. Nice job! :)

Erin | Mon, 04/20/2015

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thank you, Erin! Yes, I am

Thank you, Erin! Yes, I am passionate about it. :)
Thank you, I will look at switching that word.
God bless you!
In Christ,
Damari

Damaris Ann | Mon, 04/20/2015

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

:)

Thanks for the encouragement! I remember the artistic director at camp asking me after I had a voice lesson with him "God has blessed you with so much - what are you going to do with it?" And at that point I had to say "I don't know." Most see the only way to use talents is professionally. But as I've not gone that route since that's not where I understand my calling to be, God has still provided so many opportunities to play and encourage others with how He's gifted me, even now with a baby still playing and singing at church.

I loved all of your thoughts, but I feel like the first part should come second - as an example of how your explanation of the passage works, rather than preceding the explanation.

And happy birthday!

Kyleigh | Mon, 04/20/2015

Thank you, Kyleigh! God

Thank you, Kyleigh! God always knows better than I do, which is extremely comforting. It's wonderful to see the ways that He works these little things out.
Hmm, yes you have a good point there. I originally wrote it to post on Instagram and it only had the first part, but I felt like I wanted to go deeper with it. I will look at switching the parts around. Thank you for pointing that out!
I really appreciate your comments, they are always the highlight of my day. :)
God bless you!
In Christ,
Damaris

Damaris Ann | Mon, 04/20/2015

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

Very Passionate

Damaris Ann,

An absolutely wonderful message! My biggest critique would be that I feel the essay was a bit jumbled. I almost feel this essay could have been two separate essays. That being said, I decided to read this in what I call "Worship Form". This essay was very passionate, the kind of stuff that makes you think of the praise that flows out of you in worship to God. You don't worry about form, you just worry about the general message. This essay is similar to that in my opinion. It is beautiful because of its message.

As for the message itself, I can totally identify with you. We always think we need to take our gifts and use them "out in the world somewhere", when God calls us oftentimes to the smaller scale use of our gifts. If we don't use our gifts in the small things, we can become arrogant and prideful if we launch right into the big things. God brought home this lesson the other day with me. I had an amazing revelation from God and was very excited at what I felt He was calling me to do. So in my excitement, I asked God what the first step was. His answer was clear: go clean the kitchen and do the dishes, after that clean the bathroom from top to bottom, then sweep the floor. I was a bit confused how this all had to do with what I felt Him tell me earlier so I prayed as I began to clean the kitchen. He was silent the whole time I did what He told me to do. As I finished up He spoke to me and said: If you cannot show my agape love to your family, you cannot ever hope to show it to the hurting world. If you have not love, you cannot do my work.

I learned that doing the mundane is a privilege and and blessing when done out of love. It keeps you humble and helps you have a servant's heart focus. So far those little things are what I felt I am called to do. The rest of the world may think I'm wasting my life away doing simple tasks for my parents and brother, but I know I work not for them but for God! Keep up that passion my friend! Sing your heart out to those around you and to God! He gave you a beautiful voice and I know He delights to hear you sing, especially to Him!

Wings of Eternity | Wed, 04/22/2015

"Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

Thank you, Wings of Eternity!

Thank you, Wings of Eternity! Yes, it is extremely jumbled. :) my thoughts normally are.
That is so true; contentment is key! For a while I have struggled with wanting to be married and in my own home but if cooking and washing dishes and laundry is a problem now it always will be. Learning to serve in the little is a good preparation for serving in the big. :)
Thank you so much for your comment. :)
God bless you!

Damaris Ann | Wed, 04/22/2015

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

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