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Today’s Truth

The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:4-5

John 1:4-5

Friend to Friend

The news drifts in from the other room as I sit at my desk and try to write. Heartbreaking headlines. Scary statistics. Pessimistic predictions. It seems peace is nowhere to be found on this planet and the night is anything but silent. Feeling overwhelmed and helpless I silently ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do about all of this?” And it seems I hear a quiet whisper within my heart: “The only way to get rid of darkness is to add more light.”

As much as we’d like to, we can’t go after darkness directly. We can only crowd it out with something better and brighter. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He lives within us and wants to shine through us. Here are three ways we can let that happen this Christmas season.

First, we shine when we are kind. Just visit any shopping center and it’s easy to sense the pressure and stress this time of year brings. Smiles are a hard-to-find item. Fuses are short. Lines are long. By simply treating those we interact with in a considerate way we can make a difference. Jesus said our love for others would show we belong to Him.

We also radiate when we are real. One of my favorite Christmas decorations is a mosaic candleholder. When a candle is placed inside it, all the broken pieces multiply and spread the light. The seemingly imperfect places in our lives and hearts can do the same. We don’t need to have it all together. We just need to say, “Jesus, please use all of me for your glory.”

When we are real, others are drawn to us. I’ve attended a Christmas Eve candlelight service several times. At the end a single flame is lit and then passed from one person to another. That’s what encouragement does in our world. Every thoughtful word or act is a spark that can spread farther than we might ever realize.

Most importantly, we shine because we keep Jesus first. No matter what anyone may say, He is still the reason for the season—and the reason for the light within us. Our Savior knows there will always be news headlines like the ones I heard. They existed the night He was born as a baby in Bethlehem and will continue until He comes again. But He also knows that because of what He did on the cross and through His resurrection the darkness has already been defeated.

So every time we see a Christmas light this year let’s remember this invitation and celebration: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you” (Isaiah 60:1). The darkness will not last forever. The light always wins in the end. And we can all make this world a little brighter wherever we are today.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, sometimes the darkness in our world can feel overwhelming. But you promise that Your light will never be overcome. This is true no matter what I hear on the news or what I feel in my heart. Please give me peace, strength, hope and shine through me today.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Be a light wherever you are by doing one small kindness for someone else today.

More from the Girlfriends

Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her book Fiercehearted is a great Christmas gift or way to kick-off the New Year. It will help you and those you love live more fully and love more bravely.

8 Responses to “The Only Way to Get Rid of Darkness Is to Add More Light”

  1. Bernadette says:

    “By simply treating those we interact with in a considerate way we can make a difference.”

    Good Morning

    The above statement really appealed to me. I am a single parent and I think I am not considerate to my three kids. I am so taken up with making sure everything is done so we can all be comfortable. Sometimes I may even come across as insensitive.

    Thank you for reminding me I need to be considerate no matter what.

    “But you promise that Your light will never be overcome”

    Thanks for also reminding me that His light will always overcome.

    Bernadette

  2. Trish says:

    I witnessed a very irate woman yesterday. She was very loud and venting on one of the employees at the checkout lanes. I immediately found myself praying for her. It gave me a peace and I told the young man checking me out I hoped her day got better. I wished him Merry Christmas as I left. I still find myself praying for her today. May God grant peace to everyone. Thank you Holly and God Bless you and all your family. Merry Christmas. Jesus is the Reason all year long. 🙏🎄❤️

  3. Heather says:

    Holy, thank you for these timely words. I’ve found myself growing impatient and unkind to my family members lately. We have a lot of birthdays in December, and this adds to the pressure of the holiday. We had a party for my daughter at our house for about 25 people, and it’s taken me at least a week to recover. I’m naturally an introvert with lots of health problems, including social anxiety. I’ve already decided that next year, her party will definitely not be at our house! I needed this reminder to be kind and show light to others. God bless you.

  4. Holley Gerth says:

    Reacting with prayer is a beautiful thing to do, Trish.

  5. Holley Gerth says:

    Heather, I’m an introvert too!

  6. Carol says:

    I had the same experience as Trish, this season. Was shopping with a couple of gal friends, and an elderly clerk was getting the impatient energy all around her, I stepped out side to breathe some fresh air and a prayer. After my friend was checked out, she said that that clerk was worried about how cold I was!
    God definitely, puts us in simple places to make small but mighty differences.

  7. Gladys says:

    At this time of year, where I live, people are so busy rushing around, trying to get shopping done, preparations for the holiday meals, parties, visiting family members & guests, and everything else. My God, just talking about it is exhausting – whew!!! So it is expected to encounter a grumpy store clerk, a frustrated postal work or restaurant server; even impatient shoppers waiting at long lines or waiting longer than they think they should at a “fast food” drive through.

    “Adding More Light” – a smile, an encouraging word, even a gentle hand on someone’s shoulder – can help to change someone’s attitude, or brighten their day, or turn it info a special moment!

    My daughter is short-tempered and can act quick-tempered at times, especially when dealing with long lines and frustrated clerks. She always says to me, “Mom, why are people so nice to you? You get smiles and I get frowns!”

    This devotional on “The Only Way to Get Rid of Darkness Is to Add More Light” has helped me show her why! Jesus shines His Light in us, so we can shine it for and to others – all year long, but most especially during this time.

    Thank you. I will most definitely continue to “add more light” within my home and my family, as well as out within my community and with others. God bless you!

  8. Regena says:

    A special reminder for this time of year but one we need to remember each day of the year. I’ve been thinking about kindness quite a bit lately. Does it take any more effort to be kind that it does to be rude? Our Lord, Jesus Christ, was kind and loving to everyone he met, except those who were defiantly evil,but, even the misfits and outcasts sensed his kindness. We can be the light in a world of darkness by simply being kind. Our little ray of light shared in a grey world, may be just the reminder that someone needs to mend a broken heart, to cope with single motherhood, to give hope for a child or other loved one who is ill, to remind a grieving widow or widower that heaven is real, to remind that someone, who is working, when their heart is at home with a sick child that God is light and he ministers to the crushed in spirit and the broken hearted. It’s not our light that changes people but the reflection of Jesus Christ and his love that gives shalom. May the joys of the season bless you and give your heart rest, hope and peace.

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