As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

light shine

Probably my favorite movie quote of all time comes from the movie Coach Carter. The movie stars Samuel L. Jackson (coach carter) as a boy’s high school basketball coach in a very poverty stricken area. He turns an undisciplined, underachieving team into one of the best teams in the state. However, in the middle of becoming great basketball players, the boys allow their academic scores to drop significantly. When they fail to improve their grades, Coach Carter locks up the gym and makes the team forfeit every game until their grades improve.

This action is met with extreme opposition from the community. The school board holds a meeting and elects to cut the locks and let the boys play basketball. Coach Carter decides to step down as the coach, because he refuses to support a decision that puts basketball ahead of education. When Coach Carter goes to collect his things, he finds his team in the gym studying. They have taken it upon themselves not to play until they improve their grades. As coach carter is about to turn and leave the gym, one of the players stands up and says the following quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

What this short synopsis does not fully justify is all of the adversity that the coach faces as a result of his actions. The very player that stands up to say this quote is the same player that just a few scenes earlier was storming out of the gym after quitting the team. People vandalized Coach Carter’s business and verbally abused him. He chose to do the right thing anyway. Coach Carter was resolute. He was not wavering.

In what area of your life is God calling you to be resolute and not wavering? In what area of your life is He calling you to do the right thing, regardless of what others might think? Whatever it is, know that God is for you and not against you (Romans 8: 31)! Maybe He is calling you to change your career path, or walk away from and ungodly relationship. Maybe it is something in your heart, like seeking purity or healing. Maybe he is calling you to be courageous and take a stand, so that your light can liberate someone around you!

“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).

Written by Brian Maisch

I have a heart for setting people free from spiritual bondage and world oppression. I believe that the radical love of God manifested through his people can transform the world, and I believe that journey begins with us on our knees in a place of humble submission to God’s will.

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