In these familiar words, we hear Jesus building up his followers as if they’ve been questioning their worth. You are the salt of the earth! You are the light of the world! I wonder why he didn’t, instead, just say, “You’re perfect! Don’t change a thing!” Maybe it has to do with purpose. What does salt do? Enhance flavor, preserve, melt ice, and clear infection, among other things. What about light? It can illuminate, guide, and alleviate fear.
Jesus is saying that the gifts we are given are meant to be used. We aren’t given grace and hope and joy just so we can keep it to ourselves. It is meant to be shared in a way that draws attention to the glory of God. In the same way, as he discusses the Law, it is about purpose. For some, practicing the Law had been more about impressing themselves and others than enacting the values of the kingdom of heaven. Consider the many gifts God has given you.
Are there some you fail to use? When you do use your gifts, what is your motive for doing so? In what ways could you use your salt or your light to glorify God?
In prayer, ask God to shine through you to illuminate someone’s way.