One godly man or woman, faithfully following Scripture and sharing Christ will stick out in the circle God has sovereignly placed them in. Like salt on meat, a faithful Christian will keep the circle God has sovereignly placed them in from decaying as fast as it would without them.
I used to referee soccer games with many different referees but there is one fellow referee I will never forget. As I approached the field to of play I saw the referees assigned to work with me and noticed that one of them was visibly upset. He was warning the other guy, and then me as I approached, about how terrible the two coaches were. He had refereed these two teams before and he absolutely hated them. He went on and on about it. He also had a few things to say about the players. I think I learned several new cuss words that day.
As he calmed down we began introducing ourselves to each other. When my turn came I told them that I was a student in seminary studying the Bible and wanted to be a pastor. The guy looked like had seen a ghost. He was now visibly nervous. In a bit of a stutter, he looked at me, apologized for his cursing, and completely changed his behavior for the rest of the match. He was kind to the coaches, shook their hands, and was a class act for the rest of the day.
I was dumbfounded. All it took was the word “Bible” and “pastor” and this man had instant conviction. I wasn’t even trying to do that, it just happened automatically.
God has sovereignly placed us in a circle of influence. He has sovereignly chosen who your family members would be. He knit them together in their mother’s wombs. He sovereignly chose who your neighbors would be, who your coworkers would be, and even who “randomly” sits next to you on a plane. He has simply called you to be a faithful witness to that circle that He has placed around you. The minute you became a Christian, He made you salt and light.
There is a lot of talk these days about how to reach those around us for Christ. How we need to contextualize and how we need to understand the culture in order to reach them properly. While there is some wisdom in understanding those who we share the Gospel with, the fact of the matter is that it will be very difficult for us not to stick out. In fact part of Jesus’s main point in Matthew 5:13-16 is that we should stick out. We need to understand the fact that the Gospel is simply not palatable. People do not want to believe it, and no matter what we do we cannot “trick” nor compel someone to believe it apart from the work of the Spirit. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to explore what it means to be salt and light and what the risks associated with those roles are. But first, I’d like to talk about what it means to be the “salt of the earth.”
Jesus looking at the disciples in Matthew 5:13 said, “you are the salt of the earth.”