Christians Make the World Better
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.
Jesus uses the illustration of salt to describe Believers. I remember when I was growing up that my mom was a wonderful cook, cooked with many seasonings, but didn’t put salt on the table. It didn’t occur to me to add salt to my already flavorful food. Even at other people’s houses or at restaurants where the salt and pepper are readily available, it never occurred to me to add salt to the already prepared meal because we didn’t practice that at home. Then I met my husband and his family. There was salt on the table at mealtimes, and they used it. I was still oblivious to salt. Until one time while eating with them my plate was empty and I leaned over to take a bite of Rob’s food (salt added). O MY GOSH! It was delicious! Delicious-er! Salt is awesome! It is so flavorful and wonderful. Even on a perfectly seasoned steak, adding a touch of salt at the table brings out even MORE flavor! What a wonder! Salt! Making already good things better.
Jesus uses the illustration of light to describe Believers. This one is obviously obvious especially at Christmas Eve Service at our church. We pass out small candles to everyone in a completely dark room. Everyone is super careful with their tiny torches, keeping them close to their laps while the pastor speaks. Then, at the end, the pastor asks us to raise our candles up. The ENTIRE room becomes lit. A huge space where one would have trouble making out the face of the person next to them is now completely illuminated with so much light you could read a small font novel if you wanted to. It’s one thing to have some light, but it’s another thing to lift the light so everyone can see it!
Salt and light make the world better. Everyone knows that. Christians are “salt” and “light” in that we make the world better simply because we choose to obey God and trust in His Son. And that affects EVERYONE.
Thanksgiving is in two days. And there are as many modern opinions about this holiday as there are modern textbooks on the subject. However the common fact is this: A group of people who want to live like God prescribes in the Bible got on a boat and settled a piece of property in the New World. 120 came over and only about 50 were left the following year. But, more boats kept coming. And the boats to follow were not completely filled with little bands of religious people. All sorts of people with all sorts of ideas and backgrounds came to what would one day be America. And none of them got off the boat and defied those 50 Pilgrims and what they had established. Non-believers enjoyed the benefits of living in a society guided by the 10 Commandments. Huh, it is good not to steal someone else’s horse...
So much so that when it came time to build a new country, many men (not all Christians by any means) designed and established a nation “under God” because His kind of deeds benefit absolutely everyone, Believers and otherwise. Christians, and their influence, make the world a better place for everyone.
This can’t be said about any other nation, religion, or club. It is obvious as we can see on a macro level in that for centuries people have literally been flocking to America. But it is also true on a micro level. Every single Believer makes a difference right where they are.
Think about the store Hobby Lobby. Not everyone who works there is a Christian, but do you think they enjoy the benefits of working for a Christian boss? YES! High wages, hard workers, clean stores, friendly and helpful atmosphere, Sundays off yet the company out profits their competition. The same can be said for In-and-out Burger and Chick-fil-a. Not everyone who patrons these places are all Christians either, but do they enjoy the benefits of patronaging these places? Yes. Hobby Lobby is super clean and organized. There’s workers everywhere patrolling the shelves and being helpful. No employee leaves you to your own devices. And, everyone knows, if you have to use a fast food bathroom, look for red and white! Christians make things better.
Even more micro than someone’s place of buisness is my home. I may not have established a country or started a million dollar enterprise, but my home and my workspace can be a place where I make life better for everyone because I am a Believer and I follow Jesus. I can freely forgive someone who only knows grudges. I can help someone who needs help, and I can pray for someone who doesn’t want anything to do with me. I can love people, I can be patient with people, I can show kindness, generosity, and mercy. And I can even help to offer protection and to seek out justice verbally and physically. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13) to do what he wants done. And he wants EVERYONE to see just how good he is so that everyone might come to repent and believe (2 Peter 3:9). And that is the best thing about HIM of all!
Your Ways are BEST! It’s unfortunate that people want the benefits of You without wanting anything to do with YOU. Thank you for equipping and encouraging the Believers to be “salt,” good because it’s YOUR goodness making things better. And we are “light” in that we boldly live how you prescribe so that everyone has a chance to see that your ways are the best. I love you and thank you. I thank you for where I live and for the opportunities that occur everyday for me to be salt and light to my own family and beyond. And I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
Disclaimer for the "good" people who think they are just good and don't need God:
There are a lot of people who believe that people are just good and that God has nothing to do with it. But if you meet a "good" person it is because of God's influence. All one has to do is look at completely godless nations and see the oppression and evil. Whether the "good" people like it or not a HUGE CHUNK of civilization was influenced by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ so much so that morality was born into great portions of the world that would have remained just as savage as some parts of the world remain today. It's not that people are basically good or immorality and savagery wouldn't still be around. The truth is, regardless of what you believe, that all of our ancestors were influenced by someone's "salt" and "light" long ago, and that is where "good" people come from. And the Believers simply give credit where credit is due.