Change in others!
By David Baudoin
Many people regardless of the name on their birth certificate are known by a nickname. Someone saw something in them that became their name, or someone couldn’t properly pronounce their name and they became known as something close to their birth name. Many people have chosen to name us or identify us as something including God.
In Matthew 5, at the beginning of His famous sermon on the mount Jesus gives two names to each of us that have made Christ their Lord and Savior—he calls us salt and light. The one who created us saw purpose in us that would not only define us but would also motivate us to give what has been given to us.
Salt’s original purpose wasn’t to make things taste better but to preserve something. Jesus called us salt so we would preserve our culture by living out godly principles that would set us apart, and cause people to want what they see in us. In a world filled with resentment, hatred and division we would preserve the value of forgiveness—this would simply be us giving what has already been given to us. In a culture that seems intoxicated with self-definition and sexual pleasure that we would preserve the godly principles of being defined by our creator and purity. Our neighbors, family members and certainly our children need to see us be salt in an increasingly tasteless generation.
Maybe you’re living this way and yet feel like it’s not making a difference, but never forget salt always makes a difference, whether we see it now or later. I challenge you to go read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18, and because God agreed to spare Sodom if 1% of the people were righteous, from this we see God wasn’t in a rush to bring judgement. But, we also get an understanding that regardless of the wickedness in our culture, when God see righteousness, salt if you will, He sees hope.
He not only calls us salt, but He also labels us as light, and with the increasing darkness that seems to surround us, light seems like such an appropriate name. Maybe you feel like your light is small compared to all the darkness, but remember when it comes to light, a little light goes a long way.
In Matthew 5, Jesus not only calls us light but goes on the describe what type of lights we are. We are strategically placed lights, not set accidentally or even randomly, God’s desire that none would perish causes Him to place in the places that need it most. At times I find myself complaining about all the wickedness around me and then I’m reminded of how desperate they are for the light of God’s truth that is in me. When wickedness increases, all the lights try to hang out together, so we’re not affected by the darkness, but Jesus had a different strategy for us.
In verse 16 He says, “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” On our jobs, in our neighborhoods and our children’s sports leagues we are to shine, do good works and be prepared to watch God bring change.
Isn’t that what happened to us? The reason we are followers of Christ today is because someone was salt and light when we were stuck in our tasteless and dark life. They did what they could do, and the Holy Spirit did what only He could do and He’s still at work.
Our responsibility is to share what’s been given to us, to teach our children to follow our lead because Paul said the treasures of God are in earthen vessels, that’s us.