A Righteous Life is a Simplified Life


     Multi-tasking is challenging.  A juggler who can keep seven balls aloft at one time is rare.

     The fundamental difference between the multi-tasking Martha and her non-multi-tasking sister was summarized by Jesus as “many things” vs. “one thing” (Luke 10:41-42).

     Jesus pronounced the simplified nature of a righteous life with these words in Matthew 5:15—“Nor do they light a candle and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

     Unlike our day, a candle had only one purpose in Jesus’ time.  It was to provide light.

     A candle (a small bowl of oil with a wick inserted in it) was not a colorful decoration designed to add subtle beauty or ambiance to a room.  It was not considered a way to generate a pleasing aroma when burned (that was the function of incense).  Nor was a candle lit for the purpose of heating a chilly room.

     A first century candle had one and only one practical purpose—provide light.  Therefore, no sane person who needed the elimination of darkness would light a candle and then immediately cover it up.

     Like a candle, a life lived righteously has one solitary purpose—live so distinctly that others “may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

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Author: jchowning

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