Friday, June 12, 2009

Lessons from a light switch

I used to think that becoming a Christian was as simple as flicking on the light switch: it's either 'off' or 'on'; you're following Jesus, or you're not; you're going to heaven, or to hell.

Now I realize that the truth is more complex: it's more like turning on a "dimmer" switch (why are they "dimmers" when they make the bulb brighter?!)

With a dimmer switch, there's a point when the light is off and there's no electric current flowing. You're not a Christian, yet. Turn the switch past the click point and, if that's all you do, the bulb hardly shines with any brightness (but if you stick your fingers where the light bulb goes then you meet Jesus sooner than otherwise!).

But, the bulb is pretty useless if it's kept on its absolute minimum setting. The switch needs to be turned to make the bulb brighter. In the same way, my question is whether I'm shining more brightly for Jesus this year compared to last; this month rather than last month; am I more like Jesus today than yesterday?

Just as the light switch can't turn itself on, so we need the operation of God's grace in our lives. After all, no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' without His help; and we can't be transformed into the likeness of Jesus unless we let the Holy Spirit have free reign to change us.