Many people feel it is humble or saintly to diminish their capabilities and talents, but there are passages in the Bible that tell us otherwise. Because we are all unique and beautiful creations of the Divine, we should never ‘hide our light under a bushel basket.’ As you know, little pieces of wisdom given by Jesus were conveyed in many parts of the New Testament but even though the four gospels are basically four accounts of his life, written by different people, they share similar ideas. If you feel so moved, you can look them all up. There are three in Luke:
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. (Luke 8:16)
No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. (Luke 11:33)
Therefore, if you whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you. (Luke 11:36)
You’ll also find reference to this thought in Matt 5:15 and Mark 4:21. It seems if these ideas were included so many times, it must be an important message for us. What was Jesus saying? Talking about lamps or candles, and hiding your light under the lampstand (or bushel basket, depending upon the author) was his way of making it easy for people to put the concept to work in their lives.
In those days it was common to have lampstands and candles in every home - items considered essential for a Hebrew household. If you added in the consecrated bread, you had an altar - a place of worship - a Holy Place (See Hebrews 9:2). The Holy Place is the place we recognize who we are which is our authentic self, which is Spirit. Spirit knows no boundaries,and I like to think of it as full of grace and love. When we live life knowing that we must rise to this thought in all our interactions with others, our gifts are revealed. It becomes easier to offer our talents to humanity, whether it is dancing, teaching, writing, or raising a family.
Jesus suggested that to live ‘in the light’ you’ve got to quit hiding yourself, and be proud of all the things that make you uniquely you. Offer yourself completely to those around you, with love and positivity. Believe in yourself. Why would we volunteer to sit in the corner or under the lampstand, when we are so beautiful inside? We can shine like a star in the sky.’ (Philippians 2:15). It’s our natural state of being, to be immersed in this wonderful energy.
He also suggested staying away from people who ‘stand in your light’ or diminish your light (getting stuck in lower negative thoughts or being around people who are just plan rude, nasty or just don’t have your best interest at heart). Let’s begin at home first. ‘Home’ is who we live with and who we invite into our personal world… those closest to us. Your family. Your work colleagues, your dance partner, your friends. Unveil your light to those near you. Get some practice then take yourself out to the larger community. It is how we illuminate ourselves as human beings and change the world! We all have the ability to do this, so let’s shine on, and be bright, illuminated individuals!