Light and Salt of the World

Our Lord Jesus says that Christians are “the salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13) and “the light of the world” (Matt 5:14). The goal of this two-fold command is to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16). This means that “salt” and “light” refer to “good deeds.” Simply said, to be salt and light is to do good deeds to people, to become a blessing. But this blessing is not just to do some good to human beings. The most important purpose is so that people can experience the goodness of God through our good deeds so that the world will thank God, that is, “glorify your Father in heaven.”

This two-fold command also tells us one of the purposes of our existence in this world. Our existence is only truly meaningful and valuable when we can bless people so that God gets the glory. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” This means that if we cannot fulfil this goal God has set for our life, or worse, we become a stumbling block to people, our life is wasted. In other words, we have lived a meaningless life. Have you brought a blessing of eternal value to people around you? Today, I wish to focus on being the salt and light to fellow Christians.

You must be “salt and light” to God’s family, that is, Christians. You need to realise that when you have a bad Christian testimony, you can be a stumbling block to Christians. You may or may not be aware, and you may or may not make a conscious effort, but the fact is: the way you conduct yourself will have an impact on people around you. This is how human beings pick up good or bad habits. Your good or bad habits, Christian or unchristian behaviour, faithfulness or unfaithfulness, being fervent or lukewarm in spiritual things will affect others. Even if you make yourself unnoticeable, people will notice you.

Dear Christian, you need to take this seriously: your life will affect people for good or bad. You cannot stay neutral. Be aware that what you say and do, others are looking at you. Your presence and testimony will be felt, no matter how hard you try hard not to be noticed. For instance, if you are unfaithful in attending worship service, another Christian, especially a new convert might think this way: “It is alright to sometimes not attend worship service. Even Mr X or Miss Y, a very mature Christian sometime misses Sunday service or this or that.” This new Christian starts missing worship service now and then, or when he or she has “no mood” to worship God. Then a lifetime harmful habit is formed. From where did this new Christian learn this harmful bad habit? From you. Someone may notice your unkind words and think, “I see, it is alright to speak unkindly sometimes.” You may not be aware, but the harm has been done: you have become a stumbling block, and used by Satan to harm God’s child. The reverse is true. You may not be a Sunday School teacher or leader. If, however, you are faithful in spiritual things and are often kind to people, your good Christian testimony will affect others for good. You have become a teacher!

I urge you to be careful as to how you conduct yourself as a Christian. Remember, what you say or how you say things, your loving or unkind words, your lukewarm or fervent heart, what you do or fail to do, someone will learn your habit. May we make a conscious effort to be careful about our conduct. Bear good testimonies. Be the salt and light of the world. May you be a good example to fellow Christians. In this way, you would live a meaningful life.