How salty are you? When people encounter you, when they view your actions and your relationships, do they walk away intrigued? Maybe even enticed to experience the life you have? Or do they sputter and spit, thinking, “Man, I do not want more of that”?
My family and anyone who’s ever visited my house for dinner will be the first to tell you, I stink at cooking. I won’t entice anyone with a fresh cooked meal. I do hope, however, that you’ll join us for relational reasons. That you’ll discover that we’re loving and gracious people of integrity and be drawn to that. To us and, hopefully, the God who empowers us.
Love. Grace. Integrity. I believe that’s a powerful combination able to dispel the false and often negative associations our culture attaches to Christianity. When we live what we claim to believe, consistently yielding to the Holy Spirit within, many times, we find our words aren’t all that necessary.
Now, please don’t mishear me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t share truth. As a faith-based writer and speaker, I spend a good deal of time doing that, after all. What I am saying, however, is that our day-to-day actions should speak loudest and clearest. And if they don’t? Then we’ve probably become one of two things: A bland Christian who has allowed their flavor to become leached out by our culture or sin. Or, an angry and hostile religious person who puckers everyone’s mouths, even those who agree with our truth claims.
Living with radiance and flavor, however, means doing all we can to model Christ in every area of our lives. How we speak, how we serve, how we love, how we give, and how we react. We mustn’t separate Christ’s call to live as the salt of the earth and light of the world from the context in which He spoke this. (Matthew 5)
He began by telling us all the seemingly contradictory ways we’d be blessed.
- Blessed are those who are poor in spirit. Destitute on their own and recognize their constant need for Christ. (Matthew 5:3)
- Blessed are those who mourn, because it’s often during the hard times that we most experience our Savior. (Matthew 5:4)
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness—who long to know and please God. (Matthew 5:5)
- Blessed are the meek, who demonstrate strength under control. In other words, who are able to speak truth with love, gentleness, and grace and don’t lose their cool in Facebook arguments or endless political debates. (Matthew 5:6)
- Blessed are those who seek justice, absolutely, but are most known for their mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
- Blessed are those whose hearts are pure—free from pride, selfish ambition, bitterness and sin. (Matthew 5:8)
- Blessed are the peacemakers—those who actively join God’s mission to bring relational, emotional, and spiritual health to our broken world. (Matthew 5:9)
- Blessed are those who are persecuted, insulted, mocked, and disdained, for the sake of Christ, because our love often shines brightest in the face of hatred. (Matthew 5:10-12)
After laying out precisely what a Christ-honoring life looks like, Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-15) So shine brightly, “That [others] may see” your arguments and hear all the verses you’ve memorized? No. “That they may see your good deeds and praise Your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)
Because, in short, they will know us by our love, one displayed with equal parts truth and grace. Because as I’ve said before, love without truth isn’t truly love. It’s dangerous. Morally and ethically negligent. And truth without love is destructive. A life characterized by both, in deed even more than word? Such a life truly does have the power to change the world.
You and I have the power to change the world, one heart at a time. And Jesus has both shown and told us precisely how. The question is, will we follow His example?
Share your thoughts, insights, examples of living brightly, and questions in the comments below. If you’re following our chronological New Testament reading plan, scroll down to view this week’s suggested reading.
For those struggling to live as salt and light in challenging circumstances, I encourage you to listen to the latest Faith Over Fear Podcast episode on Responding With Courage When Others Act Foolishly. You can find it here.
I also invite you to check out Wholly Loved’s latest Bible reading plan: Joy in Chaos. You can find it, and the “read to me” option HERE.
Have you signed up for Wholly Loved’s mother-daughter conference yet? Can’t make it on April 16th & 17th? No worries! All registrants will receive a link and password granting them full access to all the conference content.
Find out more HERE.
Watch the promo clip here: