Salt and Light of the Earth
“You are the salt of the earth…. You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden.” Matthew 5:13–14 (ceb)
What does it mean to be salty?
Salt flavors; salt irritates; salt disinfects. Salt actually changes things it comes in contact with: it melts ice, and it preserves food. It is not a neutral substance. Just the right amount makes food wonderfully savory, but too much renders food inedible. A salt scrub can get things clean, but salt in a wound can sting and even injure.
I want to live out this vision Jesus paints of what the lives of His follow- ers should look like: to be salt and light. One of the biggest challenges to that is the hectic pace of our lives. For salt to change anything, it has to come in contact with it. When I keep myself too busy, I miss opportunities to be salt and light.
Imagine if someone was in darkness, and needed a light. If you had a light, but all you did was run past them on your way to church, waving your light, would that help them? Slowing down has enabled me to stop and shine the light of Jesus’ love into people’s lives.
One of the ways I’ve tried to be salt and light is to really get to know my neighbors, some of whom don’t know Jesus. Serving on the PTA at my kids’ grade school; joining the neighborhood bowling league or book club; taking time to just visit with my neighbors when we’re out working in the yard—these provide opportunities to build relationships where I can be “salty,” where I can shine light.
That doesn’t mean preaching at them. It simply means loving them—by listening, by simply being a friend. Other times it might mean bringing a meal to someone who is sick. Other times, being salt and light means choosing not to do certain things—for example, to not gossip, not to badmouth others.
Does a light say “look at me”? Or does it simply shine?
FAITH STEP: Spend some time in prayer and self-examination. Ask God to show you if there is any way in which you have snuffed out the light of His love or become unsalty.
Written by Keri Wyatt Kent
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