How to Be a Light to the World – Even If You’re Not Perfect

In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus tells us, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16) And with so much darkness in the world right now, we could use a little light. But maybe you think that you’re not able to be that light for others. You think you’re not holy enough, smart enough, rich enough, or loving enough. But that doesn’t mean the Lord doesn’t want his light to shine through you!

Kendra von Esh, a frequent Morning Air® contributor, recently stopped by and gave a pep talk to listeners, sharing why the world needs your light, and why you don’t have to be perfect to shine the light of Christ to those around you.

Kendra explained that bringing the light of Christ into the world is really fairly simple, but not always easy.

“Everyone just want to be loved,” she said. “It’s all about love. And it’s not always easy. That authentic love has to come from God. So as long as we start our day with prayer, be grateful and thankful, thanking God for the day, and getting out there – if you continue to do that, you won’t be able to help it. It will just ooze out of you to those around you.”

When you think of letting your light shine, you may imagine someone who has it all together. And you think that you are too stressed, too angry, too depressed, or too annoyed to be that to others. But part of letting Christ’s light shine through you is acknowledging the areas where you need God to work in your life, and inviting him into that space.

“When you do get frustrated, call it out at that moment,” Kendra advised. “Because we’re all human. We’re not 100%, always happy and joyful and loving to people. But when we feel that bubbling up inside, let’s give it to God and say, ‘Lord, I am giving you this anger, this frustration, and please fill me with your love. Fill me with your blessing.'”

Being a light to others means allowing them to see God’s grace working in you. If it’s possible to be perfect on your own, then who needs a Savior? So rather than seeing your imperfections as stumbling blocks, look at them as an opportunity to show how a relationship with Jesus has the power to transform lives.

Kendra shared her own experience with this, saying, “In the beginning of my journey I had a profane kind of language. I swore a lot. And as I was going through my journey, I was sharing how much God was touching me. And yet, at the same time I was speaking not so God-like.”

“I remember a friend of mine had made a comment, ‘Wow. You profess to be this Christian, this Catholic, and yet you talk like that?'” Kendra recalled. “And it hit me that yeah, my witness and how I behave matters.”

She shared that getting out of the habit of profane language took some time, but her witness of growing in virtue as she grew closer to God was visibly noticeable to those around her. In a time when many are prone to look around the world and despair, an authentic witness of grace, hope, growth, and light is a powerful thing.

“[My friends] would notice that I was trying to work on it,” Kendra said. “And at the beginning I’m like, ‘Oh, darn it. I didn’t mean to say that word. I’m sorry.’ So just be real. That’s all. Everyone’s a sinner, everyone flubs up here and there. But truly try every day to live a more virtuous life. We have to practice to be authentic Christians. And then those beautiful gifts of the Holy Spirit, those fruits will be pouring out of us. And it will be more than authentic to the world.”

Listen to the full conversation with Kendra von Esh below:

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Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.