Quick Links Quick Links

Light Or Sore Thumb

by Gary Knuckles

   I suppose everyone knows what a “sore thumb” is or what it means to say that someone/something “sticks out like a sore thumb.” Basically, we use that phrase to identify something that is inappropriate to the surrounding environment. In the past, the phrase stood for something that was unconventional, that stood out from the norm, that drew attention to itself because it was so unusual. Today, however, the Urban Dictionary says it stands for “any person who on purpose stands up for their beliefs or ideas…a person who stands up for their religion, while everyone else believes in no God at all.”

There was a time when those who did not believe in God were the “sore thumbs” of society. Things are different, now, and we’re being told that atheism is the norm for our world. As a result, morals have declined, violence has increased, scams abound, and the home faces greater challenges than ever. Society has changed for the worse because of the influence of atheism. So, in essence, being a Christian means that we are going to ‘stick out like a sore thumb.”

I don’t mind being a “sore thumb” if my faith makes me different from the world around me, but I would prefer to be called “light.” That’s what Jesus called his disciples in Matthew 5:14-16. The phrase, “sore thumbs,” may include people who bring reproach on the name of Christ because of radical actions or beliefs. “Sore thumbs” may not leave a positive impression and may be remembered for the radical nature of their actions than for any positive influence.

But, one who is “light” partakes of the nature of God’s truth and presents it to the world in love, (Eph. 4:15), as part of an effort to make the world better. In this way, we not only positively influence the world, but we also make it possible for others to see the way when they may not otherwise listen to our message. We may not always win the world to Christ, but we can make a case for the reasonable nature of the gospel.
We are to “shine as lights” in a world that is marked by wickedness and corruption. (Phil. 2:15) Fanaticism or irrational behavior will garner nothing but the world’s anger and wrath. But, light, that opens minds to understanding God’s plan for all men, will open doors of opportunity. Jesus may have been crucified for being light but look at the influence he left behind!

What are you…light or a sore thumb?


Gary Knuckles lives in Benton, KY and preaches for the  Briensburg Church of Christ

Leave a Reply

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10