Recently, a dear friend of mine introduced me to the sermons of Pastor Andy Stanley. I love them. So much. He’s a great speaker, and really hits you hard with the truth. I listened to his series called “Christian” which tackles the stereotypes Christians are stuck into, and calls us back to who we are called to be – lovers. I could write tons about this, but I’ll just say if you want to know more, listen to the sermons yourself. I’m going to write about one part… Salt.
Salt is a preservative. Way back when, they didn’t have refrigerators, so people used salt to keep their meat and other foods from decomposing.
In Matthew 5, Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Not every one is to be a prophet or evangelist, a king or a teacher… But each and every one of us are called to be salt. We are the preservatives of this Earth.
But… What does that mean?
It means being real. Being confident in who we are as Christians.
I’ve struggled a lot with being “too Christian”. As a kid, I always felt antagonized by the “super Christian” people. The people who prayed just because that was what they loved to do, the people who said their best friend was Jesus and the people who’s favourite book was the Bible. Not that these aren’t great things, but I didn’t see them as realistic. I saw them as fake and just “trying to be the best”. (I’m sorry, dear humans, for my judgemental mind) But now, I guess I’ve become one of those people… I do pray all the time, I do read my bible more than anything else… And I would say that Jesus is my best friend! But I don’t want to come across as perfect or too good or living something that not everyone can have. I don’t want to be preachy, I want to be real. In my struggles with this, hearing a sermon about being the salt of the earth and the light of the world clicked with me. The people who have been most inspiring to me have been the ones who lead “normal” lives, yet don’t separate their life from their love for God. It’s not Sunday, then the week. It’s not devotions in the morning and then life. It’s just being.
Open, understanding, compassionate, kind… Loving.
And of course… Not afraid. Not afraid of showing the world who we are. Not afraid of showing our friends who we are. Not afraid to stand up for what we believe. Not afraid to ask the harder questions. Not afraid to say to the non-believer “I’m praying for you”.
Help me Jesus, cause I’m afraid.
My friend once gave the analogy that we are like boxes with a light inside. If we hide and cover up, no light gets out… But it’s in opening up, showing the scars and the slashes and the broken bits, that the light comes through.
We are all broken, we are all hurt. We’re all tired and weary and worn down. We all have a past, and we all have a future. And we can choose to stand together, or stand alone.
I want to challenge you, dear friends, to love a little more. To open up and share that light that’s inside. I know it’s there, I know you have the ability. You don’t have to walk up to a stranger and start sharing the gospel with them, but live in a way that makes people question their own life.
Live through love.