Salt and Light in the 21st Century

In the 21st century we have at our fingertips the ability to share our thoughts, beliefs and opinions with a wide audience. It doesn’t require much effort or thought to do so. With a click we can share something someone else wrote or created and send it out like ripples from a stone tossed into a pond. Like many other tools God has given us, these tools can be used for good or for bad. The good can be sharing the Gospel, sharing a truth from the Bible, sharing a fact about an injustice, or sharing the actions or needs of an organization. The bad could be spreading rumors, defaming someone’s character, sharing what you believe to be a fact without verifying the truth or the source, or simply being mean or disrespectful.

Why is this so important for those of us who profess to follow Jesus Christ? In Matthew, Jesus taught about salt and light. “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:13-16, New Living Translation.

Salt and light both enhance our lives; either by adding flavor to food or by helping us to see or be seen better. We should also be enhancing the lives of others around us. People who are not followers of Christ should see a positive difference in the way we conduct ourselves. Our actions should speak louder than our words, or louder than our tweets, posts and emails. People will be more likely to listen to us when they know us, when they know we care, when there is a trust relationship built. How do you build trust? You spend time with people and demonstrate that you care, that you have integrity and that you are Christ-like.

I did not have a biblical world view before I started following Christ. I might not have heard the Gospel clearly presented if I wasn’t given an invitation by a friend who I liked, admired and trusted. Because he followed Christ, followed Christ’s teaching and was obedient, I was given an opportunity to be transformed. Now I have a biblical worldview and so does my wife and so do my children and so will my grandchildren. My wife also heard the Gospel from a different source, in a different setting, but that opportunity was the result of trust relationships that were built with her. My worldview would probably have not been changed by arguments, talk radio, news shows, magazines, newspapers, books or blogs. It was changed by Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God, the Father. It has been and continues to be transformed by God’s Word to us, the Bible, and by conversing with God through prayer and by listening (not easily done in our noisy world) to the Holy Spirit’s whispers.

I think the 21st century tools we have at our disposal to share our worldview and the Gospel are very powerful. Like any useful and especially, powerful tools, we need to be skilled and thoughtful about using them. Put some thought into what you share and how you sound when you share it. Read it out loud before you click “submit” or “send”. Have someone else read it and listen to their opinion. Are you enhancing, being positive and uplifting (Christ-like) or are you degrading, being negative and crushing (world-like)? I wish I could say I am always the former, but sometimes I let my emotions rule and share something I shouldn’t or share it in the wrong way. Hopefully, when that happens, the people I’m sharing with extend me grace because they know me, they know my heart and they know I care, so they have respect for me and my positions, even if we don’t agree. Someday, hopefully their worldview will be transformed like mine was, through the love and grace of a merciful God and Savior.

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2 Comments

Filed under Christian Life, Discipleship

2 responses to “Salt and Light in the 21st Century

  1. Anonymous

    Well said, Marc!

    Like

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