If I am kind to my neighbors, but do not speak the name of Christ, have I made any real difference? Or do they just think I’m a nice person to live next to?
Jesus went into the home of sinners and ate dinner with them, should I do anything less? When was the last time I invited my unsaved neighbor or co-worker to dinner? If I don’t take the time to get to know them have I really let my LIGHT shine?
Jesus did more than just be nice to sinners; He spoke the name of His Father. He spoke truth even if it meant some would turn and walk away. Should I do any less? Today we are so often afraid to speak the name of Jesus and the hope that lives within us that the salt is no longer strong enough to preserve the world.
The ‘religious’ of Jesus’ day did not understand why HE socialized with the wicked and the sinners. He was judged unjustly by the religious of His day for befriending the non-religious. Are we any different when we refuse to socialize with ‘sinners’? How often do you look down on someone who is spending time socializing with non-believers?
When we are in the Word daily and are living a consistent holy life before God we can and should be salt and light. Those believers who are solidly mature can socialize with the world and not become part of it, but instead we seem to withdraw. Why?
Do not misunderstand me. I am NOT suggesting that we participate in all the worldly activities in order to make non-Christian friends. We are to remain holy, set apart, righteous and live among the world. Jesus was able to do this without compromising who He was. How? Jesus had a close relationship with His Father. Jesus had a small group of faithful believing followers.
Look at other New Testament examples also. You don’t see Paul socializing only with believers or walking around not saying anything and assuming people will figure out he is a Christ follower.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I am continuing to question what I’ve been taught about just living a life that ‘shows’ Christ and assuming people will figure out I am a Christian. Is it enough? Does God want more? How salty am I supposed to be? How much of my LIGHT am I suppose to let shine. Just enough so they are curious or am I to let it ALL shine?
The Christian’s task is to be the salt of society, preserving, reconciling, adding taste, giving meaning where there is no meaning, giving hope where there is no hope. It is about the quality of life. It is interesting that when the early Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire, the Christian Apologists pleaded for tolerance saying that society continued to exist because of Christians. What they were saying was that Christians upheld the good values in life, they worked for reconciliation and peace, and they prayed for the empire and its well being.
To be the salt of society means that we are deeply concerned with its well being. We preserve cultural values and moral principles and make a contribution to the development of cultural and social life. We add taste and flavor to the common life. Because there are Christians in a city or in a village, its people should be able to praise God for the harmony and fellowship, joy and happiness which Christians bring to the common life. (T.V. Philips, India)
Father help me to see YOUR truth. Help me to add taste and flavor to this world. Show me how I might give meaning to those with no hope. Father help me to have the desire to go out into the world and be salt and light that makes a difference.