Most Christians want to shine as lights in the world.
This passage gives us a clear outline about how to do it.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain (Philippians 2:14-16).
First come double don’ts: murmuring and disputing. Complaining (murmuring) is a terribly negative influence. The word used here literally means mumblings. I have several friends who love nothing more than to complain—or at least it seems that way. Their discontent affects those around them. I mean, how can you possibly share a blessing after someone has spent four minutes complaining? A griper throws cold water on others.
Arguing (disputing) has a similar effect. This isn’t talking about a good, logical debate—which may be profitable. It’s about being argumentative and actually doubting God. Have you ever known someone who, when you say anything, their first response is, “No, it’s the other way”? How does it make you feel? Lousy, defeated. You can’t say anything to that person without being contradicted. All you need is one of those experiences to understand what a dampening effect disputing has on Christian light-bearing.
Next, we have a positive goal: be blameless and harmless. It elaborates a little: showing we’re sons of God and having a pure lifestyle—in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation. Sounds like Paul was reading today’s newspaper, doesn’t it?
Then, we have the shining light part, my favorite. Jesus said, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid (Matthew 5:14). When we are in Christ, we are lights. We don’t have to try to be lights, we are. Our duty is to let that light shine. Climb to the top of the hill and be a beacon.
Share the Bible! It’s the Word of life. This may have a dual application, as the Bible is the Word of life. Here, the word life indicates fullness of life and eternal life. Jesus is the Word. John 1 begins with: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men (verses 1-4).
Holding forth the word of life is the job description for every believer. Know your Bible. Let it rule your life. Share it. Tell others about Jesus. Show them from the Bible how they can trust Christ and be saved. Live a life that reflects Jesus.
Let your light shine.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).