I recently read a tweet from Premier Christian Radio that had a meme that said, “Are you being salt and light in your workplace?” This is a great question to consider. It comes from Matthew 5:13-16:
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. [NKJV]
Mark 9:50 says
50 Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” NKJV
What does this mean?
GotQuestions.org has a great post on what that means, and provides this interesting information about salt:
Salt had two purposes in the Middle East of the first century. Because of the lack of refrigeration, salt was used to preserve food, especially meat which would quickly spoil in the desert environment. Believers in Christ are preservatives to the world, preserving it from the evil inherent in the society of ungodly men whose unredeemed natures are corrupted by sin (Psalm 14:3; Romans 8:8).
Second, salt was used then, as now, as a flavor enhancer. In the same way that salt enhances the flavor of the food it seasons, the followers of Christ stand out as those who “enhance” the flavor of life in this world. Christians, living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ, will inevitably influence the world for good, as salt has a positive influence on the flavor of the food it seasons. Where there is strife, we are to be peacemakers; where there is sorrow, we are to be the ministers of Christ, binding up wounds, and where there is hatred, we are to exemplify the love of God in Christ, returning good for evil (Luke 6:35).
Most of the salt used in Israel at the time was from the Dead Sea and was full of impurities, causing it to lose some of its flavor. The commentary in The Apologetics Study Bible on Mark 9:50 says this:
The Dead Sea provided rock salt to much of Palestine, but it was often inferior quality, being mixed with other materials, particularly gypsum. When the salt leeched out of the mixture, the result was a weak product. (The Greek Historian Pliny [Nat. Hist. 3, 31, 34] attests to this feature of Dead Sea salt.) Or Jesus’ saying might have been hyperbolic, showing the uselessness and lack of positive witness among His followers if they were not totally committed to Him.
My wife will confirm this, that anytime we go to the movies, I have to get popcorn. I love popcorn, and I love extra salt on it. No butter for me. Whether it’s seasoned salt or that crack butter salt that Cinemark theaters provides, I put extra salt on my popcorn. Whether you like extra salt or a little salt, think about how bland popcorn is without salt. Or how bland a pretzel is without salt.
The commentary in the Life Application Study Bible says this on Matthew 5:13
If a seasoning has no flavor, it has no value. If Christians make no effort to affect the world around them, they are of little value to God. If we are too much life the world, we are worthless. Christians should not blend in with everyone else. Instead, we should affect others positively, just as seasoning brings out the best flavor in food.
The commentary in the Spirit Filled Life Bible says this on Mark 9:50:
If the disciples lose the flavor of true discipleship in striving after selfish ambition, they become useless as Christians (see Matt 5:13).
GotQuestions.org’s post says this about light:
In the analogy of light to the world, the good works of Christ’s followers are to shine for all to see…The idea here is similar—the presence of light in darkness is something which is unmistakable.
Do you stand out from the world? Do you stand out from your non-Christian friends? Are you being salt and light? Do you make a point of being encouraging, or are you a negative influence?
WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE, YOU’LL GO FAR
At my day job, over the last few years, we’ve been working on merging with a national company. When we first got the news, many people on my team had a negative attitude about that. I remember after one meeting on the topic of transition with the new company, that the negative people showed their colors. After that meeting, I had a conversation with one of the transition leaders, and he picked up on my attitude, and told me, “With an attitude like that, you’ll go far.” Over the course of time in the transition, most of those with a negative attitude are no longer with the company. Some of us that had a positive attitude actually got promotions.
A negative attitude is something that I can relate to. Most of my pre-Christian life, I was very negative. When I tell people who know me now about this, they think that there is no way because they cannot see that in me anymore.
Being salt and light in your workplace is very important, but we should be the salt and the light in every area of our lives.
When I was the vocalist for Far From Sanity, in our song “Villain”, I wrote the following lines:
How is your attitude towards others?
What message is your life sending?
This applies to your attitude and more. Areas that immediately come to my mind that salt and light, indeed your very attitude, could apply to are:
- social media posts
- perspective in life
- political attitude
I’m sure that last one stings a little. Whether you are upset about our newly elected President or you were upset the entire term of our previous President, there were many that expressed things that were far from salt and light.
I’ve hit on the ones that I can think of. What are some areas that you can think of?