Hi, readers of ‘Dance to Life’! It’s a privilege to be able to share this guest post with you today. When Hannah asked for a volunteer to write on the topic of salt and light, I felt it was something that has been very relevant to me recently. In the past few months I’ve been challenged on what it means to live out my faith every day, everywhere.
It’s easy to feel pumped up about serving Jesus on a Sunday morning, but I don’t always carry that into my Mondays. When the rubber hits the road, I can quickly lose my focus. There have been times when I wondered if people around me even knew I was a Christian, let alone saw any difference in the way I spoke and behaved.
Clearly this isn’t what God intended for us. Jesus never took a day off from loving. Everywhere He went, people crowded around Him. They were desperate for Him. In John 8:12, He says the oft-quoted words: ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.’
The people of Israel saw this light in Jesus and they wanted it.
Matthew 5: 13-15 says this: ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. ‘
Jesus instructed us to do exactly as He did- to be salt and light in a world that desperately needs it. It’s our calling to represent Jesus to whoever we interact with, so that they can meet Him through us. In our own strength this would be completely daunting and frankly impossible, but that’s why we have the Holy Spirit- the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead!
A month ago I was working in an office job to help support me through university. I was the filing girl, the one who carried piles of paperwork around and sorted the post. Through this job the Lord taught me so much about what it means to be His light, when in the world’s eyes you’re far from being in the spotlight. I learned that even filing can be done for the glory of God when done with a cheerful heart, willing to go the extra mile to help somebody else.
For me, living this way is only possible through intimacy with God. It’s all very well to know what Jesus did and how He behaved, but knowing Him is the only way that I can be anything like Him- the only way to be salt and light. There is no shortcut to this. There is only spending time in His presence and pursuing a lifestyle of holiness.
I love this verse in Philippians: ‘Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.’ (Philippians 2: 14-16). Paul illustrates here how righteousness stands out in the crowd- people might not say anything, but I am sure they sit up and take note.
Knowing what we know about stars today, I think this verse carries even greater significance. From where we are, stars may look pretty, but in reality they are enormous balls of burning fire. The closer you get to them, the brighter and hotter we realise they are.
Shouldn’t that be us? As people get to know us better, will they see more and more of Jesus in us? Will we still shine bright in dark situations? The way I respond to trials in my everyday life is what will set me apart, far more than how I act when all is well. I think this is what it truly means to be salt and light; to be so contradictory to the world’s way of doing things that people are befuddled and very curious.
I for one know that I want to blaze, not twinkle. I want to be a furnace, not a candle.
May people be attracted to that light in us and draw closer as they hunger to know the source. May we never lose our salt; our effectiveness in bringing meaning and life to this world through Jesus.
Thanks for reading!