I love the Book of Matthew. It is my favourite among the Gospels, probably because it contains many of the teachings of Jesus. Of course, a teacher like me will feel right at home with a book like that.

I also love the fact that Matthew strived more than the other Gospel writers to show that the birth of Jesus and the things He said and did in the course of His ministry were a fulfilment of prophecy.

There are many passages of Jesus’ teachings in Matthew and one that covers three long chapters (5-7), called the Sermon on the Mount, contains many of His popular declarations like the Beatitudes. In them, He shows the true meaning of blessedness and follows that up with the role of the believer in a decaying and darkened world. Our focus here will be on the latter.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

The analogy the Lord draws is apt. In a world darkened by the corruption of sin, the believer is to be a light. In a world befuddled by the chaos and confusion that rebellion to divine order spawns, the believer is to be a spiritual and moral compass showing people the way.

But many a believer seems just as lost as the rest of the world. Many believers seem to be groping in the darkness unable to find their own way much less guide others. Or they seem to be leading their followers into a ditch because the light of God in them is covered. So what are some of the things that can cover a believer’s light?

Jesus says we are the light of the world. But is your light hidden? Click To Tweet


1. Neglect of the word of God: Many Christians have not developed the discipline of reading and studying their Bible constantly. No wonder they seem to be leaving the road to wander around in the bush.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105

We need to form the habit of reading our Bible through once every year, the entire Bible, not just the parts we choose. When we do this in a devotional manner (i.e. under the guidance of the Holy Spirit), it changes our perception and helps us to see things more clearly.

While reading books by Christian authors, listening to Christian music and sermons is good, none of that should take the place of direct exposure to the word of God for our personal benefit. There are two beautiful verses in the book of Proverbs that expound on the relevance of the word of God to us as a light and here they are:

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“When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” – Proverbs 6:22 & 23.

Nothing should replace direct exposure to the word of God for our benefit. Click To Tweet

2. Seeking worldly approval: Many believers are yet to have the truth that we are in the world but we are not of the world, as the Lord Jesus affirmed in John 17:14-16, fully sink into them. They are struggling to please the world and live according to its standards. This is a violation of the word of God and steeps us in the very darkness we are to shine our light on.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Historically, the desire to fit in was the bane of the children of Israel. God gave stiff warnings about this but the attraction of being like others prevailed and they ended up in captivity.

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” – Leviticus 20:26

While we cannot avoid unbelievers as long as we are in the world, it is unwise to make them our best friends and aspire to please them more than God.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

It is unwise to strive to please the world rather than God. #quote Click To Tweet

3. Fear of persecution: Believers sometimes hide their light to “protect” themselves. We may fear standing out because it exposes us to ridicule and persecution but that is part of what it means to be a child of God in a world where evil predominates. However, the Lord Jesus promises to be with us through it all.

” … lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:20

It is better to shine our light than cover it in fear and incur God's wrath. #quote Click To Tweet

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. … The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? … And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:22, 24, 25, 28

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” – Matthew 16:24-25

So next time, someone castigates or threatens to punish you for holding Biblical views, don’t apologise but respond like the apostles when the Jews warned them to desist from preaching in the name of Jesus.


“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.'” – Acts 4:19 -20

I feel like high-fiving these brothers and shouting, “Way to go!” May God grant us the courage to do like them always in Jesus’ name.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Bible except where otherwise stated.

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.


  • This post has juiced my morning. Thank you very much, ma. Indeed our light as Christians should not be hidden under a bushel. AS we meditate day and night on the word of God, not only is our faith strengthened but we are transformed even as our minds are renewed. But to be honest, it requires the grace of God for us to stand-fast. One thing that has kept some Christians is an encounter. That’s what affirms what the apostles said. The boldness was not like men because they had physical encounter with Him. this, no one could ever take away. I pray for an encounter that will cause a radical transformation in our lives as Christians that will make us fearless in all situations and challenges, preaching the gospel and carrying out other duties as Christians. Amen Shalom.

  • EMekaobi ijeoma rita

    I pray for everyone whose light has been covered in darkness to receive light ijn

  • Flawlex ifeanyi

    It’s true that most Christians do not find time to read their Bible. I don’t really know why it’s like that, may be because we have not made up our mind to do so. I like this part where you wrote we are in the world but we are not of the world. It is only when we fully believe in our Lord Jesus Christ that we can understand what that sentence really means. Thanks aunty. God, help me to follow the right path.


    Let your light so shine…… this keeps me going as a christian, having in mind that my heavenly father must be glorified through my deeds on earth. the gospel of Christ/evangelism is not restricted to going around with our bibles to preach the word of God, our character as Christians can go a long way to bring glory to God. i pray that our lights will continually shine before men that they will see our good deeds and glorify our father in heaven.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Amen. Talk is cheap, as they say. Anyone can claim anything but the Bible says that by their fruits, you shall know them. Bless you, Merit!

  • I couldn’t agree more with you on the first point because it’s common among some Christians. Many Christians struggle to study their Bible constantly and this results in the other two points you mentioned, I mean seeking wordly approval and fear of persecution. The Bible is our compass and we are like travellers. In essence, we’d easily miss our destinations without constantly referring to the compass

  • Ifeoma Samuel

    Hi Aunt Edith in a world where the Truth is unpopular and men would rather listen to what they want to hear, it takes grace to stand no matter what.
    Thanks for the powerful message you keep sharing here. Many Blessings to you

    • Edith Ohaja

      Glad to have you here, Ifeoma! May the Lord help us to withstand the pressures of this age and stand for Him in Jesus’ name.

  • These three things are what we are, when we do not fully realise, as christians, what privilege we truly have. We have the capacity to illuminate the world and make it free from darkness because we have as our source of light- Christ, the Savior.
    I know it may seem hard to be in the world and not of the world but, if any one christian did it, we all could do it if we tried.

    Honestly, it would be an eternal shame if, as a Christian, and in the end, one cannot account for their good use of light. God help us to be good users of his divine light, AMEN!



  • Florence onyekaozuru

    Well this piece is very enlightening especially for those who are in the household of faith, this present world is indeed full of wickedness and ungodliness but as you clearly stated as Christian in this world we are to be a light, we are to stand out because what we are carrying in us distinguishes us from the world, but unfortunately those of us that are supposed to be light are now wallowing in darkness because as you stated we neglect and lack the word of God and accept what men teaches us,we are seeking worldly approval and also we are afraid to be persecuted,. The word of God is suppose to guide us so we are suppose to study it and let it be part of us but today we have lazy Christian who want someone to read and interprete the bible for us without asking God for his understanding, well I pray that we know who we are in him(God) and be the light bearer he wants us to be, thank u ma for reawakening the sleeping giant

  • james ojo

    what a powerful message! keep blazing the trail ma. Yours is a legacy to be emulated. well done.


    So true………
    studing the word on a daily basis’ll help broaden one’s idea
    about God’s plan for him/her.

  • Ike Faustina Uchechukwu

    On seeking worldly approval, so many of us live for the world e.g some of us do things that our friends do whether they are good or bad. we don’t do things that are in the bible because we are afraid of persecution

  • Ahubaraezeama J.C

    the word of God is light upon the believers, let we the Christians meditate on it day and night. upon mediating on it… one would live a happier life

  • This piece is replete with lessons that are worth imbibing. Personally, i have always striven to lead a pattern of life that will redound to the praise and glory of God. we already have the holy bible as our compass. it is always there to direct us in the way we should go.

  • I most sincerely love this piece Aunty Edith. God bless you much

  • ononso akwueke

    First of all aunty Edith this one you feel like high fiving the apostles, you have mind o so you can now teleport to the past hmm…am scared o. On a serious note though the piece was nice. I love the part of not fearing persecution. Sometimes I am scared to speak the word because I don’t want to be branded “churchious”. My favourite apostle is john, simply because he is a sharp guy by declaring himself ” john the beloved”. I love the fact that he considers himself to be the most loved by Jesus Christ. So from now on I too am ononso the beloved.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Lol, Ononso! No teleporting in time oh! I meant if I was there… If you are more beloved than you are already, you will be spolit and we can’t allow that, can we?

  • ononso akwueke

    Sorry one more thing I now declare to myself that I will read my bible everyday and no food for me till I do it …I hope ….amen…God please help me achieve this..lol

    • Edith Ohaja

      This is wonderful and it’s not a joking matter oh, Ononso! God will help you if you mean it and it will make a great positive change in your life. Grace to you in Jesus’ name.

  • covenant

    The word of God in my system is everything I need to bring out the best in me. My light shall never be covered. God bless you ma.

  • Asadu ThankGod

    This is really touching because I for one am guilty of one or two of them but I’ll always rely on the grace of God to pull me through. Mama please put me in your prayers

  • Eze Benjamin Oduma

    As a fish cannot survive outside water so also we cannot survive without the word of God which nourishes us and prevents us from all spiritual malnutrition and kwashiokor. May the Almighty God help us show forth the light wherever we go in Jesus name

  • muoka onyeka

    Mathew Mathew Mathew.. Neva knew it has such interesting chapters and teachings!!…tnks Edith for showing me more of Dis!! Ur posts have bin a source of hope and inspiration to me… Kip up wit da gud job…it’s 1daful.

  • Shalom Oparaugo

    This is a nice piece ma, and very true. Many believers’ lights have been covered because of fear of persecution, they struggle to seek wordly approval and they neglect the word of God and their quiet time. As Christians we should shine our lights so bright that the world will see.

  • chinonye

    Good day MA,yes I agree with our post as Christians our light need to shine so the world will see it and we cannot do that by just living without Christ in us.We need to engage in moral activities that can help build our lives.So our lives will shine before men.

    • Edith Ohaja

      We need to give our lives to Christ and let His Spirit direct and teach us in the way of righteousness. God bless you richly in Jesus’ name.

  • victor chukwudi udeh

    judging from HISTORICAL perspective the development of Media in the World.during the early beginning of writing,literature pieces was highly appreciated,but it was unfortunate that were era of technology where writing texts are no longer acceptable by the youth which resulted in decline in reading books.So BIBLE is not left out. however, I like the post. thanks.

  • Joy

    Some Christians do not find time to study the Bible and I have also heard some say that they would not study the Bible again because they find it very difficult to understand.Let us always invite the Holy Spirit for interpretation whenever we want to study the Bible so that our light can shine as Christians. God bless you Ma

    • Edith Ohaja

      It’s true some parts of the Bible are couched in symbols but most of it is in easy-to-understand story form. You are right, we need the Holy Spirit to help us interpret. We can also use contemporary versions and study tools like Bible handbooks, study Bibles, Sunday School manuals, devotional guides, etc. But whatever we do, we should do it prayerfully and not read carelessly like any common book.

  • Odigbo Chidinma

    Really believers should avoid whatever prevents their light from shining…….but the glaring truth is that grace must be on our side to do this. I like this part; it is better to shine your light than cover it and incur God’s wrath. Bless you ma for this.

  • Ebere ANIOKE

    Tank u ma DAT is where our test as a good Christian comes to play, I love dis post ma the place of d holy spirit in d life of a Christian makes d difference.

  • Chike Chiemela Elizabeth

    Christianity over the years has been weakened because of the fear of the unknown–fear of being persecuted, rejected and being misunderstood–at the expense of us standing as God’s ambassadors to earth.

    There are so many things I see around me that are absolutely wrong but to speak against it takes a lot of thinking. It is wrong.
    I ought not to tolerate sin or evil of any kind. I must take a stand. There is no space for neutrals, God dislikes it.

    My prayer is that God helps us (me) to shine our (my) light no matter the circumstance.

    Thanks, Aunt Edith, I’m encouraged.

  • Ezenwa Obinna G.

    His word keeps us from the world, his word preserves us in persecution, his word makes the difference in us, his word is the essence of our lives and existence. I pray that we shall know more of him, his will for us all by his word. I pray we shall stand alone for him even when others think it a foolish thing to do, I pray we shall serve him without compromise of any kind. I pray our lights shall be uncovered by sin and all unfruitful works of darkness in Jesus Name. Bless You ma for this reminder.

  • Nnamani Frankline Chinedu

    My day has been blessed and graced by these posts. D Lack of God’s word, seeking of man’s approval and D fear of Persecution are d three things. I have noted these and I must earnestly fight them in my life starting from today.

    Thank u ma. I love dis.

  • ogbaje jude Arinze

    From ur analysis so far as regards our being light to the world,i assuage to amplify that the important of light lies in its functionality not existence.Thanks a lot

  • keswet mercy

    this post helped me to identify 3 things that could actually cover a believer’s light and become a source of hindrance to God’s blessing am greatly inspired ma

  • Uba Chiemerie Jane

    This is really true. These 3 things are the major things I think can cover a believer’s light, when we neglect the word of God, seek wordly approval and fear persecution, we are probably walking towards our doom and hiding the light of what God truly made us to be.

  • Anyaka Osmond Ifeanyi

    I agree with Kingston’s comment.. We as Christians need to keep our light always flaming and to do this, we need the grace of God in our life.. Ma this is a wonderful piece. Also looking at your posts, you have always tried to show the importance of the grace of God in people’s life…
    I was not confused when I said you are an inspiration to your generation and the younger generation.. God bless you. .


    God’s word bring light to the world and reading the Bible is a better way of understanding His word

  • Chukwuma Nkemjika

    That’s where our test as good Christian cms to play. Pray that God hps us shine our light no matter d situation.

  • Henrietta Okoye

    Number two you mentioned above is my best… Most Christians now just want to belong, they want to fit in, they want people to approve them forgetting the fact that God said we are in this world and not of the world… That is why some fail and their lights become darkness. even fear of persecution, most Christians are victims to that.. Tuface said that “nobody won die but they won go heaven”. they still don’t believe persecution is all part of being a real Christian. they just want the good aspect of being a Christian…

  • Nneka Orjiude

    I am truly blessed. I am guilty of some charges. I am afraid i have been part of things that have covered the light of God in my life. I wont dim my light anymore. God bless you ma

  • Hephzibah

    This was quite enlightening. Your write up has been so inspiring and for that I’m grateful!

  • Perpetua Ugwu

    Im so inspired. Thank you for sharing with us, Ma.

  • Eneje Chekwube Vitus

    First and foremost, we don’t read our Bible and that’s where our problems start.

    Secondly, those who read, most times misinterpret the context thereby misleading others.

    Ma, just as you pointed out, we often neglect the word of God due to earthly desires.
    Due to fear of being persecuted, we do not share the word of God or minister to others to understand better.

    Thank you ma for always inspiring and sharing the word of God with us.

  • Amos Janet

    The major problem most Christians face is the lack of quality time with the word of God. But I pray God to help us change that attitude. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

  • Benjamin C.Nweke

    well done ma’am 4 that inspiring one.
    that was a clarion call for anyone who calls himself/herself a Christian to get acquainted with the Scriptures.

  • Okeleke loveth

    God has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light,we must strive to remain in constant relationship with him.

  • Nwokolo Chidera Mirabell

    So many things could dim the light in the life of a believer. we are hereby advised to steer clear from this possible factors. Nice work ma.

  • Auntie Edith, I’m wondering where you teach? Are you in Nigeria? I traveled to Lagos several times when my husband and I were missionaries living in South Africa. Our sister church in Lagos was one of my favorites to visit. Thank you for this reminder to let our light shine and not allow it to be covered up. Our world needs our light!

    • Edith Ohaja

      Yes, I am in Nigeria. Thanks for dropping by, Lori. God’s overflowing grace and goodness upon you and your family in Jesus’ name.

  • Much wonderful wisdom here. Thank you. I find that “loving people” sneaks in, and hides innocently behind, “desire to please,” and BECOMES a problem when it takes our focus off of the relationship with the Lord. God FIRST…. easier said than done. So grateful for His word, and encouragement from the family, such as here!

    • Edith Ohaja

      Yes, Tammy, we may have the best intentions but we should focus on God first, as you cautioned. God bless you very much, my dear friend! ❤️

  • Thank you for this post. I have been thinking about this very topic, recently. I have wondered why I go through different seasons and my light does not seem to be as bright. I love your challenge of reading through the Bible in a year. I’ve always wanted to do that, but have never gotten through it. I agree that we live in a world where people are afraid to speak up for God; may we be so radically changed by the Gospel that we can’t help but to let our words of light and life flow in response.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Amen! Thank you very much for your heartfelt response, Christina! May God help us to his ambassadors indeed on earth in Jesus’ name.

  • So true, I especially like neglect of the word. As soon as we begin to neglect time with God, we start to lose our light.



  • Ukamaka Ukaegbu Mirabel

    This is a great reminder that as Christians we should not conform to the things of this world but rather we should diligently seek God in all things and put him first in every thing we do. And also we should be dwellers of his word and not dippers because we can only be able to shine as light which he has called us forth, to be only if we dwell with him through trials and tribulations, because he has already made it known that he will be with us through all things.

  • Oleru Precious

    May God help us all in choosing the right path. Amen

  • Chigbo Godspromise E

    Most times, its not easy to shine our light in this wicked world without the fear of oppressions but with the word of God in our heart, our light must shine, in Jesus name.

  • Akabuike Chisom

    Nicely written, I have failed in many aspects but am beginning to find my path to his ways .as a Christian We need the Bible especially to be strong

  • Anyadubalu Oluchi Maryrose

    This is to bring to our notice that we shouldn’t cling to the things of the world but dilligently look up to God for His own things.

  • Odiase Erico Osazee

    Neglecting the word of God is one tin that can end a man journey when he is still on the journey, God’s word is a light onto our part, with God Word we can overcome any challenges and be victorious. That why he told us in book of Matthew to seek first is kingdom before anything.

  • Queen

    These three things summarizes all in a Christian life and if He/She works on them, no bushel can cover his light. Bless you.

  • Henry

    The #3 is one part that limit most christians. We don’t like persecution, avoiding it with all vigour. Christianity is not rock n roll, persecutions makes us stronger but we fear the stigma it would bring. We see been at peace with all men, entails running from persecution which will mar relationship but it isn’t.

  • Maduabuchi Emmanuel Chidera

    This is a reminder that our light should so shine irrespective of where we are in this world.I pray for more of God’s grace to help us find this light and show it to the world.

  • Eze Chinyere

    The things you pointed out are very true and we can see them manifest in today’s world, most especially seeking worldly approval. At times we cant help but tend to please the world with our deeds and actions even when we clearly know they violate God’ word. Again, studying the bible to have a better understanding of God’s word is a necessity for any up and doing christian. May God help us keep walking in his light!!

  • Okorie Flora

    All these 3 things are the truth. When a believer starts to neglect the word of God, they tend to start deviating in the ways of the Lord and start walking in the ways of the world

  • Arene Ifeyinwa Ketochukwu

    I agree ma, Christians should avoid things that will distract them from the word of God and avoid other forms of evil that is capable of dimming their light.

  • Bessong Faith Ada

    When we neglect the word of God, what is our gain? When we seek the worldly attribute, destruction and confusion will be the order of the day. We chase things that doesn’t last when there is abundant and everlasting blessing and goodwill in Chris Jesus, he is the truth and the light.

  • Ugwu Chiamaka

    In the world today, we are faced with a lot of famous lies and unpopular truths. Ma, you are making the truth popular and you are highly appreciated. Losing our focus In God can lead us into a ditch that may be hard to come out from because the word is a light unto our path, without it, all we would see is darkness. I ak for God’s grace to remain steadfast in his word, amen.

  • Richards Orighomisan

    Fear of persecution, I have been a victim of this long before now, among my peers I was ashamed to confess that I am a Christian, I was ashamed to carry my bible, I was scared of what they would say and wanted more of their approval than more of what God says about me and sincerely I was able to come out of this through the intake of the word of God that I was able to break out from my shell. Paul said “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation” This is one of my favourite parts of the scripture and it has really helped me overcome shame and seeking the of worldly approval. These three mentioned above are key.

  • Anabude oluchi

    Well said ma, the need for the proper meditation of the word of God cannot be overemphasized because it covers a Christian and the word is much more powerful than we know and deep insight protects you From so many negative things and because the word is light to us so many individuals had gotten encounter that changed not only their life but their destiny completely

  • Ezidimma odinakachukwu oluchukwu

    The second lesson actually got me “seeking worldly approval” in our present age people seek the approval of man than God because they feel that anything someone says about them they believe it without knowing that they are not of this world. I pray that God should open our eyes to seek His approval than that of men…Amen???

  • Ekechukwu Francisca

    The loop holes of Bible neglect, fearing persecution and seeking for worldly approval can hide the light of we believers in our walk with God. Thank you Ma for exposing this.

  • Odumuko Oluchukwu Victoria

    Boldness is precisely what is needed when walking with God.

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