"You are the salt of the earth
As Jesus was training the twelve disciples 2000 years ago, He is training us as His disciples today. And a great leader expects the best of His students: "You are the salt of the earth, the light of the world". Webster’s dictionary says "salt of the earth" people are regarded as the finest, noblest people on earth. The more like Jesus we become (e.g., the beatitudes) and the more heavenly minded we become the more "earthly" difference we make in the lives of others here and now on this earth for Christ’s sake and God’s glory.
"Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the white of an egg ?" (Job 6:6) Salt preserves (especially needed in a society with no refrigeration) and flavors (we are "the savor of the knowledge of Christ" — 2 Corinthians 2:14 KJV) and we are to preserve God’s gracious influence in a world of moral decay and bring the flavor of Christ’s goodness to those around us. We are to life what salt is to food. We can make a real difference even as salt makes a difference on french fries or tomatoes or soup, etc. So we must get the salt out of the saltshaker (versus staying in our holy huddles) and spread the fragrance of Christ among those around us. But "saltless" salt is of no value to food and a "saltless" Christian is of no spiritual value to others. Unbelievers dislike Christians but it seems that they dislike immoral Christians even more and thus saltless Christians are often "trampled by men".Salt preserves (especially needed in a society with no refrigeration) and flavors (we are thesavoroftheknowledgeofChrist — 2 Corinthians 2:14 KJV) and we are to preserve God’s gracious influence in a world of moral decay and bring the flavor of Christ’s goodness to those around us. We are to life what salt is to food. We can make a real difference even as salt makes a difference on french fries or tomatoes or soup, etc. So we must get the salt out of the saltshaker (versus staying in our holy huddles) and spread the fragrance of Christ among those around us. But saltless salt is of no value to food and a saltless Christian is of no spiritual value to others. Unbelievers dislike Christians but it seems that they dislike immoral Christians even more and thus saltless Christians are often trampledbymen.
Jesus says, "I am the light of the world" and that His "life was the light of men" (John 8:12, 1:4). So in this passage Jesus is saying to us: "you are to be like Me" – the light of life in a dark world. Light like salt is useful and makes a difference in many ways. Light is welcoming as in a lighted house on a cold and dark night. Light illuminates our surroundings so we can read or work. Light helps guide us and warns us of danger ahead. And as we shine our light for Christ others too can find the way to salvation and bring glory to our Father in heaven. So our light is not to be hidden but evident to those around us, evident that we belong to the Lord.
Salty and light-filled Christians make a difference in the lives of others on this earth here and now and often in real ordinary ways not just in preaching and witnessing but in the way we live our day to day lives. We live in a fallen world where sin has so distorted the image of God in people that anger, dishonesty and busyness hurt those around us and often even those we love. Rudeness and disrespect and shoddy service is commonplace. A survey by Public Agenda found that 79% of those surveyed say that lack of respect and courtesy is a "serious" problem in America; 88% said they often or sometimes come across people who are rude and disrespectful; 50% surveyed have walked out of stores because of poor service. Yet those surveyed had few suggestions for solutions.
Although we must speak out the gospel with our lips, our lives often speak louder than our words in both a positive or negative way. We must continually ask the Lord (and even ask others) how "salty and light" we are at home, at work, at the ballgames (and especially when our children are on the field) and at play. Would our wives, children, friends, customers, suppliers and store clerks be drawn to the Lord through the way we relate to them?
My friend Chris White has some penetrating questions to test our "saltiness and brightness" for Jesus:
In a busy world do I make time for others?
In an angry world do I wait and pray before I react?
In a worried world do I have a palpable peace and contentment?
In a world of dishonest business practices and cutting corners do I have genuine integrity even when it costs me?
In a depressed world do I have the joy of the Lord? Not necessarily a bubbly personality but a depth of hope and trust in the goodness of the Lord that gives me joy even in difficult times. (See Psalm 27:13-14)
Am I making a difference for Christ’s sake in the lives of those around me?
. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16)