Encouragement ExchangeHow could you give encouragement to someone today?
Top Music Videos
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 (v.13).
Salt is well-known for two popular uses. We use it as an additive to enhance flavor (think of the saltshaker on your kitchen table), and as a preservative to prevent decay (think of a butcher curing meat to keep it from rotting). Jesus used this metaphor to describe the dual influence everyday people like you and I are to have on the world in His name.
First, we’re to enhance what is good. Wherever we find goodness, beauty, and truth—in our homes, offices, and universities, and in colleagues, politicians, or those in the media—we should affirm it. Most of us know how to voice our disapproval, whether through a forthright comment or a letter of protest. But how many of us write letters of affirmation—going out of our way to encourage a public leader for a good decision?
When we enhance what’s good, we just might find a more welcoming audience when we perform our second influential role—to defeat what is bad. We’re to halt moral decay, to stop society from rotting. We’re to oppose actions, policies, and products that will bring harm to our neighbor, taking a stand against evil. The world may persecute us for this (5:10-12), but we’re called to love and serve those who are against us (vv.43-45). For evangelical statesman John Stott, Matthew 5:13 was Jesus’ call to social justice: protecting the dignity of the individual, providing civil rights for minorities, and abolishing social and racial discrimination. “Whenever Christians are conscientious citizens,” he said, “they are acting like salt in the community.”
Read Romans 12:9 for further guidance on exercising our dual influence in society.
Why do you think Jesus was so firm about our “salt” not losing its “saltiness”? How can you be more potent as a source of salt and light this week?
- Encouragement Exchange - How could you give encouragement to someone today?...read more
- Raise the Temperature - ...read more
- Always There - Do you believe that the Lord is always with you?...read more
- Seasons of Grief - Are you going through a season of grief where you are struggling to grieve?...read more
- John's Question - What steps can you take to seek God’s perspective in a current challenging situation?...read more
- Victory - What battles are you facing these days?...read more
- Starting Over - Have you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?...read more
- Genuine Love - How have you experienced the reality of God’s love?...read more
- Straight Up - Is there a current situation in your life where you’ve been less than honest?...read more
- He Saw Something - Have you seen something so true that you would be willing to live or die for it?...read more
- Higher Law, Higher Love - What choice of conscience faces you today?...read more
- Stay or Run Away - How might God want you to display His glory in your life?...read more
- Jealousy and Generosity - To help His followers understand what the kingdom of heaven is like and the dangers of comparison obsession, Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired workers to tend his vineyard....read more
- On the Fringe - Who sits alone at church that you can befriend?...read more
- Taming Anger - Think back to a time when you lashed out in anger, or when someone lashed out at you....read more
- Full of Joy - How can you tap into God’s joy more fully?...read more