A circus owner walked into a restaurant to see everyone crowded around a table watching a little show. On the table was an upside down pot and a duck tap dancing on it. The circus owner was so impressed that he offered to buy the duck from its owner. After some wheeling and dealing, they settled on $10,000 for the duck and the pot.

Three days later the circus owner runs back to the restaurant in anger, “Your duck is a rip-off! I put him on the pot before a whole audience and he didn’t dance a single step!” “So?” asked the duck’s former owner, “did you remember to light the candle under the pot?”

Well, that might be one reason that someone would put a lighted candle under a pot, but that’s not what candles are for! As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, candles are meant to “give light to all who are in the house. ” In like manner, our Christian lives are to “shine before men.” (Matthew 5:16-17). The reason is that we are to be a positive influence on others around us.

We sometimes speak of a “secret Christian” as if that’s a possibility. The truth is, unless our lives are reflecting the light of Jesus Christ, we’re not living Christian lives at all. If we don’t influence the world around us for Christ, the world will influence us.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light, for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteous and truth” (Ephesians 5:8-9).

Did you remember to light your candle?

Alan Smith
via Jackson Park church of Christ
Nashville, TN
Bulletin Digest (April 2006)

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