You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world-like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:13-16Matthew 5:13-16
English: Contemporary English Version (1999) - CEV
Salt and Light 13 ; You are like salt for everyone on earth. But if salt no longer tastes like salt, how can it make food salty? All it is good for is to be thrown out and walked on. 14 . You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, 15 ; . and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. 16 . Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
I recently heard a man named Francis Chan speak on this passage (among other things). What he had to say was direct and challenging. When’s the last time you served God and the viewers responded with praise to God?
It is fairly common for us to serve, and for us to hear people say, “Oh, you did a great job with that.” Or, “God has really blessed you.” But when was the last time you served and someone said, “Wow, God is just so awesome!” Or, “I can’t believe God is like that!” That’s a lot different.
Francis wanted to pray for us, that we would experience the Holy Spirit in a way that two things would be noticeable: One, that we would know it wasn’t our own ability and strengths – when we serve, that the service and outcome come from the Holy Spirit. The second, that people would respond with praise to God, not us. That they would be so stunned by the outpouring of the Spirit that they can say nothing but, “That was God.”
We serve and people will see. We are an example of God. But a good example points to something else, not itself. That is my prayer for us today.