No, I’m not going to prison. This is a concept in the Christian world. It has to do with listening to God’s correction. As my sweet wonderful Mom says, “Once you figure out your problem then you can solve it.” I can’t do that for my soul without God.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. [Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV]
What does Matthew five have to do with being convicted? Nowadays, the phrase “convicted in the Spirit,” is missing in our watered-down politically correct Christian language. It’s no fun having your flaws brought to your attention. When I am convicted in the Spirit, it grabs my mind and I need to find solutions and forgiveness. This realization is not sitting down to prepare for confession and go through the laundry list of my mistakes, bad choices, or downright wrongs. Being convicted in the Spirit points out a character flaw or a habit I need to weed out of the garden of my soul.
Here’s what happened: I was heading home from work listening to a minister preaching about idols in our world. He got to the part where he states we as Christians are the light of the world. It’s right there in Mathew 5:14: You are the light of the world.
He described how we talk a good Christian game while we are in church, in prayer groups, with Christian friends and family. BUT, we hesitate to take Christ to the world beyond our Christian safe spaces. In this message, I hear we are to be the Light of God all the time.
Whoa… Wait just one minute! Be God’s light in every aspect of my life? My mind flew to my workplace. The public square is the one place I do not feel comfortable expressing my faith. And the public place I spend the most time is my workplace.
Yes, most of my coworkers have figured out that I am a Christian. I want to do my job and go home and hide. Talk about putting my light under a basket! I might as well put a basket on my head and over my eyes.
Being convicted in the Spirit is when you know the message is for you. It pierces through my armor and strikes right to my core. The flaw I didn’t notice is now as big as the nose on my face. I hide my faith at my work. I can’t ignore that.
As Mom says, “Once you figure your problem…” It is decision time for Milly! Do I ignore it or do I solve my problem?
I have excuses. I work in a government setting. It may offend people. Let’s just get along and do our jobs. Yes, I am straddling the line between my physical and spiritual sides. It is a very lukewarm place to be, and we Christians know how God feels about that! He doesn’t like it.
“So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” [Revelations 3:16 NABRE]
My work is interesting but repetitive, insert boring here. We seem to create our own drama through needling, confrontations, gossip, and backstabbing. We wander in darkness with only the purpose of meeting the next deadline. We need light. And just who brings light into the workplace? If I believe God’s Word, that would be me.
How do I do this? How do I set aside the anger and hurt to let God’s light shine through me? I asked God, “How do I start?” As my workplace grew darker, I wanted out. God’s answers to my prayers have been clear. I do not understand the reason. However, I know I am where He wants me to be; whether or not I like it.
My walking/prayer buddy suggested I pray on my way to work for the people who’ve hurt me. You know, the pray for your enemies thing. I didn’t want to do that. I argued with her over it. The lamest excuse I gave her was “I pray for my husband and my boys on the way to work! They are more important than that place!”
She laughed at me. Then she said. “What’s most important is what God wants you to do.” My moms basically said the same thing.
They are right. This week when I drove to work, I pray a rosary placing my coworkers and my workplace in my mind. At the end of my prayers that first day, I had one word on my mind. “Peace.” I’ve been at this job for over ten years now. This place is not peaceful.
Praying I said to my Lord, “You are going to have to pull this off because it will take a miracle!” My soul felt the Lord’s grin. I don’t know any other way to describe it. No sound, no visions, but my soul knew He had smiled and said: “I got this.”
I’m taking this slow. A small candle casts a soft glow of hope in the darkness. I pray for my workplace and coworkers on my early morning drive. Then I praise God for what He will do. When I open the door to walk inside, I say under my breath either “Shalom” or “Peace be to this Place.” I do the best job I know how to do and go home thanking God for the day.
These are baby steps. Even though my mind can’t grasp the implications yet, my soul knows God will use my little flame to guide someone to His Peace. What’s the payoff? I can breathe. There is peace in my soul. I don’t know how or when it will happen, but I believe the peace of God will grow. He’s got it! I can let it go. He will handle it from here. I just gotta have faith in my God!
Let God’s Light shine in you today in your own way. Peace,