“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:13-14, NKJVEmbed from Getty Images
In his book Secrets of a Prayer Warrior, Derek Prince writes , “the full extent of our responsibility as Christians [is] to exercise a unique and decisive influence on–that is, to rule–the society in which we live.” He points out that a city situated on top of a hill is visible from all directions; it is conspicuous. As Christians, we should be conspicuous in society for being different, for reflecting Christ.
My mother emphasized to my siblings and I that people are always watching Christians to see if they their actions line up with their stated beliefs. She realized that someone considering making a decision for Christ could be turned off by a Christian who in a moment of anger spouted cursing or displayed inappropriate behavior in any circumstance.
The secular world desperately wants to know if our claims of being changed by Christ are real. They are looking for authentic faith. When our actions reflect Christ, we will be a light shining in a dark world. People will be attracted to the light.
In this passage, Jesus also talks about salt. Prince points out that salt has two function. As a seasoning, it gives flavor, and as a preservative, salt prevents decay, or corruption. In terms of adding flavor, Prince write, “If we are the salt of the earth, we are like little granules sprinkled across the earth’s surface. Our responsibility is to give the earth flavor…Our presence should make the earth acceptable to God in a way that it would not be acceptable to Him if we were not here as Christians living out our lives in His grace and love, worshiping and praising Him, and praising Him and praying according to His will.” I love the visual picture of our love, praise, worship, and testimonies being sprinkled over the earth and giving it flavor.
As a preservative, Prince says that we are “to hold back the forces of corruption–moral corruption, social corruption, political corruption–until God’s purposes of mercy and grace have been worked out for this world of ours.” I fear that we have failed greatly in that responsibility. Everywhere we see evidence or moral, social, and political corruption in America.
Jesus has called Christians to be salt and light in this world. We need to stand out by reflecting Christ to those around. We daily encounter people who are hurting, people who feel unloved or unworthy, people who need to know that Christ offers hope, forgiveness, and a new life. Let us all strive to be a bright shining beacon of hope to those around us, pointing the way to Jesus.