“You are the salt of the earth . . the light of the world.” Matthew 5:13-14 NIV
“Do you have a beneficial effect in the lives of others?”
My thoughts today are about being “beneficial.”
Most people want to make a difference. You want to believe that your life matters. A long time ago, a friend gave me this practical advice: when you begin to think that you are a bit more important than you really are (and you will), just stick your finger in a bucket of water. When you pull it out, notice how long you leave a hole. That’s very true, but anyone wants to believe that there is some place – some way, some time, and with someone – where you would “leave a hole.” No one wants to live and nobody notice.
You are not important because you think you are; you are important when God and others say you are important to them. Making a difference has everything to do with the beneficial effect that you have in and on the lives of others. Not very complicated, is it?
Salt has a beneficial effect. It is noticeable in its touch. Its purpose is to impart flavor where it’s lacking and enhance flavor where it exists. Do you do that? Do you make people and situations around you better than they would be if you were not there? Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth!” Matthew 5:13 NIV. Then be salty without apology. God forbid that you are content to be bland, to just blend in, to become a cheap copy of anyone else, or to be indistinguishable from anyone else. You were never meant to be forgettable. You are unique. You are meant to make a difference.
Light has a beneficial effect. It enlightens everything within its reach, making some things noticeable when they might not otherwise be seen, and other things more beautiful than they would otherwise appear. My wife, Gayle, likes lights of every variety – the soft glimmer of candlelight, the attention drawn by accent lights, the beauty of decorative lights, and the bright lights needed for a particular task. All are different; all have their purpose; all are beneficial.
It’s very satisfying and useful when you recognize what God made you to be, and be that to the best of your ability. “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also . . they also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” Acts 17:6 NKJV/Acts 4:13 NLT. Being with Jesus makes you different in the best of ways. Don’t blend in; stand out! “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV.
Paul wrote to his young protégé, Timothy, “Take Mark and bring him with you, for he is profitable to me for ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:11 NKJV. My thoughts are captured by the assessment of Mark – “he is profitable to me.” That’s what I want to be true of my life – profitable for ministry! I think you would like that to be said of your life as well.
My prayer for you today is this: live so others can see Jesus better.