by Chris Witts Hope 103.2
In the Peanuts cartoon, Peppermint Patty was talking to Charlie Brown. She said, “Guess what Charlie. On my first day at school, I got sent to the Principal’s office. It’s your fault you know”.
“My fault,” asked Charlie, “how could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?” And she says, “You’re my friend, aren’t you Charlie? You should have been a better influence on me”. Peppermint Patty was trying to pass the buck that day, but she was right. We should be a good influence on our friends. Each of us does have an influence on others – for better or worse.
We think we have to do something really big and impressive to make the world a better place, but that’s not the case. Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a different view. In her life, she helped one person at a time. She said, “Go home and love your families”. If we can influence those closest to us in our home, then we are doing something positive and helpful. What Can You Do To Make This World A Better Place?
As Christians, people are watching us all the time to wait to see if we do act the way we speak or profess. Like the little boy watching a Pastor making a wooden trellis to support a vine in the churchyard. After he’d finished, the Pastor asked the boy what he wanted. “I’m just standing here waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer”. What Can People See When They Watch You?
Matthew 5:13-16 NIV
13 “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. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Jesus makes it clear that we are to make a difference. Just as salt makes a difference. Many ancient societies understood the value of salt better than we do today. Many Roman soldiers received their pay in salt, and it was very valuable. So when Jesus said “You are the salt of the earth” people understood it was something very special and valuable. What Did Jesus Mean?
I think he meant that Christians, like salt, are to be a preserving influence in society. The issue was the saltiness of the salt. If it loses its saltiness, it may as well be thrown out. The presence of Christians in the world makes all the difference. Do You Make A Difference, Or Have You Lost Your Saltiness?
When we give our lives to Jesus, something very powerful has happened. He has saved us, forgiven us of our sins, changed our hearts, given us a new hope, put his love in our hearts, given us joy, and set our feet on the rock that cannot be shaken. Are You Influencing Others To Turn To Christ So They May Have What You Have?
Then he also said, “You are the light of the world”. While salt is a hidden but powerful influence, light is a visible and revealing influence. We are called to make a visible impact on the world around us. Our faith in God is to be open and seen by others, not hidden away. Our light should shine, not to boast or reveal how good we are, but to bring glory to God our Heavenly Father. Are You Letting the Light Shine Through?
A nine-year-old boy traveled with his parents to Europe one summer. They visited several centuries old cathedrals. The little boy looked at the enormous buildings with their massive stained-glass portraits of the disciples and other saints. He was most impressed by the beautiful stained-glass windows. When he got home, his Sunday School teacher asked what he liked most about the churches he visited. He thought for a moment and said, “I loved how huge God must be”. Then he was asked to define what a saint is. Thinking of all the stained-glass windows he had seen, he said, “A saint is a person the light shines through.”
Are you salty?
Is the light shining through you?