Being an Influence – Salt and Light part one

If your like me you have wondered just what Jesus was talking about when He called His disciples Salt and Light in Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

I have read these verses many times and wondered just what being Salt and Light was.  I even tried to the best of my ability to be what I thought Jesus meant when He called us this.  Until recently I had never really understood what Jesus was talking  about.  I began to look at what Salt was used for in the lives of the people Jesus was talking to.  Because being salt didn’t mean we were to make life taste better for people.  In Jesus’ day salt wasn’t used for its taste.  It was used as a preservative.

Jesus was calling us to be a preservative in our society.  He was calling us to be a moral barometer in the world we live in.  Not so that we could judge the lives of those around us, but so that by our lifestyle they could see a better way.  Jesus was asking us to live our faith for the world to see, and be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have.  He was calling us to be an influence on the world around us.  Not by being preachy and telling everyone to believe what we believe, but to be an example that people could see follow.

But Jesus was also saying that we are able to preserve people as well.  In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, where God is going to judge the cities for their actions, and if you read any history of the cities they were not nice people, Abraham stands between them and God and after talking for awhile God says He will not destroy the cities if He can find 10 righteous people in them.  I never connected this story to Jesus’ comments about being Salt before, but this is what Abraham was doing.  We have all wondered at times why people get away with so much in our world.  I have heard the comment many times “If God is so just, why doesn’t He deal with these people?”  And I have come to learn what Abraham knew.  With God a little bit of righteousness goes a long long way.

God is not wanting anyone to perish.  2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” When God looks at the world, He does see the wrongs being done in our society.  But the presence of those who know Him personally allow Him to withhold judgment.   God wants everyone to come to know Him and He sees the wicked people in our world, but He also sees the righteous.  We are able to make a difference in our world just by living out our faith for the world to see.  With God a little bit of righteousness, or Salt, goes a long long way.  And God knows that Salt always makes a difference.

We are important in God’s plan.  Each one of us is able to make a difference if we will accept the call of Jesus to be Salt in our society, to be an influence in the world around us.   God loves and values people very deeply.   We are not insignificant to God.  We are important and able to make a difference.  Remember that a little bit of salt goes a long long way, and Salt always makes a difference.