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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world . . .”—Matthew 5:13–14 (NIV)
I always find it funny when I hear expressions from the Bible used in everyday, “secular” conversation. One of the most commonly used ones is found in today’s verse: the salt of the earth. You often hear this term used in TV shows and movies when referring to an ordinary, yet really nice, kind person. Here’s an example from The Office: “These people are the salt of the earth down here.”
But is this what Jesus intended this expression to mean? As we know, salt makes food pleasant and palatable. In addition to that, salt can sustain and preserve food. And here, Jesus calls us, His disciples, to be like salt in a world that needs more than a pinch or dash of it.
So as Christ-followers, the way we live our lives every single day—the things we say and do, the way we treat people, the way we conduct our business and daily affairs, our character—should keep the world from moral decay. Our interactions with people—regardless of race, ethnicity, social status, lifestyle choices, religion, etc.— should be palatable and pleasant. It should bring out the best in them and enhance their view of Christ Jesus.
Similarly, in verse 14, Jesus also calls us the light of the world, because light brings brightness and clarity in the darkest places. As believers, we are like lamps from which the Light of the world can illuminate so that all can clearly see the love and grace of the Father. Not only that, but the way we live as Christ-followers, as we allow the Spirit to work in and through us, can serve as a guide for others on how to live like Jesus (1 Corinthians 4:16).
But what happens if salt loses its saltiness? If light becomes dim or obscured? If the health of the world depends on our ability to reflect Christ, and we don’t, the world will fall further into darkness, hate, and depravity. Therefore, we must ensure we are as salty and bright as possible every single day. And we do this by moving out of the way and allowing Christ to consume every part of us!
I pray that we are salty enough and our light is bright enough for our lives to say, “Taste and see that the Lord is good . . .” (Psalm 34:8 NIV, emphasis added).
DIG: What does it practically look like to be salt and light?
DISCOVER: How have you been salt and light in the lives of the people around you?
DISPLAY: In every interaction you have today, be intentional in the way you speak, act, and in the way you treat people. Ensure that your salt is salty and your light is bright. And make sure you’re prayed up!
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.