In Les Miserables, the inspiring novel by Victor Hugo oft performed on Broadway and the silver screen, Jean Valjean, is caught and sentenced to nineteen years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s hungry children. His release came with impossible curfews and check-in points and continuous mistreatments. One night, Jean knocked at the door of the Bishop of Digne’s home. The bishop took pity on him and gave him food and shelter for the evening. However, after the household went to bed, Jean robbed the bishop of his silver. The next morning, Jean was caught and thrown at the bishop’s feet. The bishop had the power to send Valjean back to prison, but instead he handed Jean Valjean the silver candlesticks from his own table and said, “Would you leave the best behind?”
The bishop’s grace and generosity had an amazing effect on Jean Valjean’s future. No longer was Valjean a slave to the law, but a man who multiplied the grace he had so freely received.
This is silver candlestick living. It’s when we live into the idea of the abundance of the grace that we ourselves have been given. We are those who were redeemed by Jesus, God’s only son. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins through his own suffering and death on the cross. He, the resurrected Lord, gave us his love and grace freely so we can lavish it on others.
This means we are rich enough to spend our love, time, efforts on things of eternal value; family, friends, and loved ones in Christ, not to mention the poor, burdened, and heartbroken and those who need Christ. We can afford to give ourselves to silver candlestick living because we have been given so much. As we press into our abundance and give what we’ve received, God miraculously and abundantly replenishes our rich supply and graces our lives with joy. So let your light so shine on top of your silver candlesticks in 2015 so others can see and receive the same grace you have been given.
Based on story in The Stress Cure.