Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life…. Philippians 2:14-16 (NLT) 

Christ followers have a choice. We can curse the darkness around us or we can light a candle. Which do you choose? If the Gospel is good news and we are to communicate that good news, wouldn’t we be more effective if we were lighting a candle? Are you lighting your world? It’s human nature to react to the darkness, crookedness, and perversion in our world today and complain about it. But, Paul urges his readers in Philippi to be different. It’s interesting to note that he’s writing this from a prison cell in Rome where he is wrongfully incarcerated for sharing the good news about Jesus. He resisted the temptation to complain about the injustice of his circumstances or the sinful culture that surrounded him. Instead he said,

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life…. 

That was not only wise counsel for believers then but, also, for us today! There is plenty to find fault with today. We can complain about the massive changes that rapidly limit our religious freedoms and argue with those who don’t believe the way we do. Yet, Paul offers a more effective approach that won’t sour our dispositions and embitter our spirits, like finding fault does so often. When the world around you is dirty, he says, Live clean, innocent lives as children of God. When the world around you gets darker full of crooked and perverse people, Paul challenges us to shine like bright lights! 

How do we light our world when we live in such darkness? I think the answer is in the next line of Paul’s charge to us. Hold firmly to the word of life!  John’s Gospel tells us in John 1:4,

 In Him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. 

For our lights to shine, we must have the fuel of His life! Hold firmly to the word of life! Jesus is the word of life. When you have His life inside, He turns the light on! His life enables us to shine like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. I love the message in the song, Go Light Your World written by Chris Rice. If you have a moment, you may want to listen to it on YouTube and review the lyrics as your prayer to light your world today!       

There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
And there is a spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes his home

Carry your candle, and run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, confused and torn
And hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to
Light his own candle some other way
See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to
Still holds a candle without a flame

So carry your candle, and run to the darkness
Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn
And hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

‘Cause we are a family whose hearts are blazing
So let’s raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus
Make us a beacon in darkest times

Carry your candle, and run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world