The other evening, my wife and I watched the sunset from our terrace, and we stayed until stars came out. As usual, the evening star was the first to appear. An hour or so later, it was still the brightest light in the sky on this moonless night, its steady gleam easily outshining the twinkling competition.

The evening star had an unfair advantage, of course, since it is actually the planet Venus, masquerading as a star. Like the moon, it emits no light but merely reflects light from the sun.

It struck me that if the moon and Venus can beam that brightly, as dull-surfaced and void of light as they are in themselves, I need not worry so much about my own spiritual reflective index—my degree of goodness or godliness, as perceived by myself or others. All I really have to do is be there to reflect God’s light when He shines on me. That realization doesn’t give me license to let myself go and become a spiritual slob, but it’s liberating to know I don’t have to try to appear to be something I’m not.

That experience put a new spin on a phrase from a familiar Bible verse—“Now we see through a glass darkly.”1 I had always applied that to my perception of God and spiritual realities, but now I see that it also applies to how others see God reflected in me. No matter how I may try, I can’t change my own nature any more than a planet or moon can transform itself into a star. That transformation is something that God does as He shines on me. I may not be the most brilliant, reflective surface, but His light is sufficiently bright to make me one of His stars.

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV