Have you ever been around those people who just shine? Those bright people who walk into a room and you take notice because the room is just brighter now? It isn’t necessarily because of their physical beauty, but more often it is because of the light shining from within.

In fact, shining brightly has very little to do with appearances. It has nothing to do with how many spin classes you attend, how perfectly manicured your nails are, what designer clothes you are wearing, how much kale you eat, or how perfect your complexion is. It has nothing to do with where you went to college or where you vacation. Your ZIP Code and tax bracket don’t factor in. That light comes from within.

Yes, that is a shocking thing to say in this age of social media where we have the conditioned reflex to compare and criticize based on the highlight reels we see. What if, instead of dwelling in the negative feelings we may have when we see others shining, we train ourselves to cheer each other on, build each other up, and celebrate our capacities? What if we celebrate the light, and in turn, shine brightly ourselves?

It’s safe to say that God is fairly obsessed with light. The first thing He did after creating heaven and earth was to separate light from darkness. According to the Strong Concordance, light is referenced 272 times in the King James Version of the Bible. It’s also safe to say that God is obsessed with us. After all, each of us was created wonderfully complex in the image of God. We are lavishly loved, for being exactly who we are, by the One who created light.

Chances are, you have known the cute little song, “This Little Light of Mine,” for decades now, and you have probably sung it to your kids. Why not take that advice and live it out? Let it shine! Only this time, let’s shine from within, anchored in the fact that you already have what it takes to be a bright light.

Let’s remind our kids that they light up our lives. Remind them that they have a special bright light that this dark world needs. Get silly and sing ” This Little Light of Mine,” with them! Empower them with the truth that they can make the world better and brighter just by shining their light. And so do you, Mom!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 (NKJV)

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 (NIV)

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

“At one time you lived in darkness. Now you are living in the light that comes from the Lord. Live as children who have the light of the Lord in them.  This light gives us truth. It makes us right with God and makes us good.” Ephesians 5:8-9 (NLV)

“‘The LORD bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)