33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
There are really two lessons here:
1. Don’t hide the light you have.
2. Make your whole self full of light.
Most often, when I’ve heard this passage taught, the focus is on the first lesson. I also cannot read it without hearing a cheerful melody resonating in my head.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
So let’s focus on the second one: Make your whole self full of light.
In other words, we need to beware of what we might call Selective Sanctification.
Let’s read Luke 11:35-36 again.
35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.
Sometimes we can want to be holy, but only in the ways that we like best. Then at the same time, we leave a little room for a few other things – maybe things that are not really holy at all. We can have our favorite (little?) sins. We can have the ones we don’t yet realize we have and maybe don’t really want to even know about.
Leviticus 11:44-45 says,
44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy … 45 For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”
A few chapters later, in Leviticus 20:26, we read,
You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.
Then in the New Testament, Peter reminds us, in 1 Peter 1:14-16,
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
We need to be holy all the way through. And if you think you are there yet, think again. Beware of selective sanctification; just be holy.