“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.” (Matt.5:15-16)
D.L. Moody pointed out that verse sixteen does not instruct us to make our light (or testimony) shine before men but simply to let it. If it’s there, it will shine….unless it is camouflaged. In this case, the cover-up is a bushel basket, and obviously, it doesn’t matter whether it is clean or dirty, which says to me that both our sin and our self-righteousness will suffice to hide the glory of God.
I can think of another good way to dim the light as well. As they say, “The darker the night, the brighter the light.” In other words, our light will shine brighter in the world than it will in the church house, if we are willing to take it there. This is not to say that we should neglect the house of God, by any means; what I am saying is that my testimony to the reality Jesus Christ and my relationship with Him, will have greater impact in the company of those who sit in Spiritual darkness than it will among already enlightened brethren. Granted, our light cannot have “communion” with darkness (2Cor.6:14), but it can, and should, have contact, not to show commonality, but dissimilarity.
Another way to let a light shine is to break the vessel that encloses it. Just as the pitchers that the Israelites held in their hands when they went to fight the Midianites had to be broken in order for the light inside them to be seen (Judges 7), so these vessels of clay that house the Spirit of God within us are sometimes broken so that His glorious light is shed abroad in the hearts of those we come in contact with. We all are aware of the glow of Heaven that can emanate from those saints who walk through the valley of pain and disease with the God of all comfort.
If the Light is truly there, it will shine. You and I have only to let it shine, uncovered, undimmed, or unclothed, if need be. It was not meant to warm and illuminate us alone, but those around us, as well. So, let it shine; let it shine; let it shine!