Shadow Ministry

Me and My ShadowToday as I perused some old posts, I realized that I’ve been blogging  for almost 7 years. I was shocked as I had no idea that it had been that long.  Sometimes I took a hiatus here and there, but I’m reaching the 300th post mark rapidly. Some days the blog has been a blessing for both you and I, but some days it’s been a bane – hopefully, though,  only to me.  So in honor of taking a look back. Here’s one of my favorite posts.

(Previously posted in September 2010.)

Me and My Shadow

Did you realize?

  • Shadows are only fueled by  a light source.
  • If the object is close to the light source, the shadow is large.
  • Conversely, if the object is further from the light source, the shadow is small.
  • Noticeable shadows are always larger than the original subject.
  • If the subject moves, the shadow moves.
  • Shadows are concealed in the dark.
  • Shadows appear larger or smaller than it’s subject, but it is always in the same shape as the subject.

For the most part, I had never paid attention to my shadow – I know it’s there but it never really seemed that important.  That information couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Just because I never pay attention to my shadow doesn’t mean that other’s aren’t paying attention. My shadow is the part of my life that I don’t realize is being watched: the choices, actions, words spoken or not spoken that occur on an everyday basis. Whoa! Since I now know that I have a shadow ministry, I wonder what example that shadow is casting on those near me.

Scientifically speaking, shadows can appear larger or smaller than a subject, but it is always in the same shape as the subject. Which means my shadow will cast my “true image.”  In other words, it will match my basic body shape or in this case spiritual shape.  1 Corinthians 9:27 says, “I discipline my body like an athlete training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I might find myself disqualified.” If my life is not lived as I speak, then what I “preach” will not match up and people will stumble. Yikes!  I  remember reading something about making people stumble  connected with the idea of having a large rock tied around my neck and being thrown in the river.  Not so good!

Therefore, the question of the day is this: what must I do to have an effective shadow ministry? Here’s what I discovered after some serious perusing through the Bible, much of it is based on Matthew 5:3-10. 
The Beatitudes are a series of statements that involve blessing and actions.  Blessings are interpreted as having “inward hope and joy though the outward life is chaos.” Look at them one by one and replace the word blessed with the above definition.  I’m pretty sure that following these basic attitudes will create a shadow that can impact the lives of many, especially if you are living them during “outward chaos.”

  • Be needful of God. (verse 3)
  • Be a comforter as God is a comforter (verse 4)
  • Be content with who you are so you can accept others for who they are (verse 5)
  • Be hungry for justice and truth: don’t go along with the crowd, don’t evade the truth (verse 6)
  • Be merciful but extending it to others and accepting them for who they are no matter what they’ve done (verse 7)
  • Be pure in your motives: stop, think, filter – get an Editor for this (verse 8)
  • Be a peacemaker not a pot-stirrer (verse 9)
  • Be strong in the face of persecution by accepting it is an acknowledgement your are standing for God; therefore, you have a strong shadow ministry (verse 10)

One last snippet about shadows: the closer you are to the Light, the larger the shadow.  That scientific fact illustrates a pretty clear spiritual truth, so I needn’t say anything more, except to ask one question:  how strong is your shadow ministry?

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