Posts tagged: Light
When the world all around you and in your immediate vicinity often go against what we should be doing as Christians, how do you combat that and maintain that light in the darkness around you?
Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV 1984), “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 by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
This is the central verse that says we are to be a light in the world… not only light but salt. Salt is a preservative and a source of flavor, light shows the way and reveals the truth. These are the characteristics we should have as believers. There is a lot of over complication and confusion over how to manifest these qualities effectively in our lives.
We know the truth and the way; we are given great knowledge and the task to spread it. In the world there is great opposition to truth. The world will tell you that truth is subjective. It is not.
… Tangent Alert… beep beep beep!!!
“Hey stranger, what’s the best Ice cream flavor?” Stranger replies, “Orange!… orange is the best ice cream flavor!” I reply, “No! Choco-Chip Cookie Dough is the best!” <—— Those are opinions and they are subjective.
“Hey stranger, what’s the square root of 100?” Stranger replies, “Cats!… cats are the square root of 100!” I reply, “No! 10 is the square root of 100!” <—— That is a fact, and it is objective.
Back on course …
You have the truth, not your truth, not a truth, but the objective truth. To be honest, that can seem like a heavy burden at times. But here’s the thing; Christ carries your burdens and lays it out for us: you are to be salt and light. Christ often spoke in metaphors and parables about common things that we can relate to. We can definitely relate to the properties of salt and light (they are certainly common enough to us). Pour some salt in your mouth, believe me, you’ll know it’s there. Shine a flashlight in your sister’s eye…. she will hit you.
Of course, this is not the purpose of those two things. Salt was never meant to overwhelm you, but to give flavor. Light was not meant to blind you, but to give you sight. People foolishly shove things down people’s throats in an attempt to be salt and light and end up leaving them with a bad taste in their mouth and blinded from the truth.
Down to the matter now: how can we be true salt and light in a world so tasteless and dark?
Verses that I try to remember: 1 Peter 3:13-16 (NIV 1984), “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
As you have gathered it doesn’t say force the truth on unbelievers. However, we can’t fall into the trap of never showing our faith unless someone specifically asks us something like, “Hey, do you believe that salvation comes through Christ alone because He, God’s Son, came down to earth in human form to lead a perfect, sinless life in order to die on the cross, taking the deserved punishment for me so that I could have forgiveness of sins and life through Him?”. Because, chances are, nobody’s gonna ask us that … ever… especially if we never speak of Him or act in a way that points to Him.
We have to take all that we learn from God’s word and apply it.
Some tips on being a light and salt in a world where the truth is opposed.
1. We must NEVER try and force the truth on anyone (don’t shove anything down anybody’s throat). I promise, it won’t do any good.
2. We must NEVER hide our faith from people for fear of judgment (I struggled with this for a long time, but we shouldn’t be ashamed of truth. When it comes down to it, they don’t judge you… they have no part or say in who you are. There are bigger things that the opinions of man.) Let it be known and plain.
3. Take opportunities to witness to people. Use discernment of proper time and place. You may not be the most eloquent speaker, but what you have to say may be exactly what the person needs to hear.
4. Be patient. Live out your faith and people will see that there is something different about you. They may even ask you what it is. Then the opportunity is right in front of your face and you are sure of it.
5. Stand up for what is right. If something is taking place that is wrong, make it known that it is wrong, why it is wrong, and how it should be fixed. Jesus stood up for what was right in Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV 1984), “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’”
6. At the end of the day, sleep well knowing you lived the day right. You shined light and provided flavor to a dark and tasteless world by living out your faith, being ready to give answers, taking opportunities to offer truth, standing up for the truth, awaiting more opportunities, and being patient with a very lost people.