Matthew 5:13-16 – “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
When we Christians see injustice in this world, how should we respond? When we see people living out of their sinful nature destroying their lives, how should we respond? Looking closely at those two questions, we might be led to give two different answers. When we see injustice in this world in the form of human trafficking or abortion or racism, it is easy for us to claim that we must act so as to help those who are being oppressed and marginalized. When we see people living out of their sinful nature destroying their lives, it is easy for us to sit back unmoved and unsurprised, convinced that we should just let them live out of their flesh. Sure, we may say that it is our responsibility to share the gospel with them to see them free of their slavery to sin, but the passion and vigor that we feel is oftentimes different in those two scenarios.
When Jesus says that we as Christians are to be the salt of the earth and a light of the world, he is commanding us to be agents of good, preventing moral decay. What that means is that we as Christians should be active in striving to see this world redeemed and reconciled to God.
The psalmist in Psalm 94:1-3 prayed: “O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve! O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?” AW Tozer says this of the psalmist: “This is to be understood not as a plea of personal vengeance but as a longing to see moral equity prevail in human society.”
Tozer is saying that we as people of God should long to see moral equity prevail in human society. Moral equity will only prevail if it starts in the hearts of men. If it is our calling and commission to join creation in displaying the infinite worth and value of God in all spheres of life, then we should strive with all our being to see all hearts cry out, “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
It is easy for us to divide the population in to different categories. We see the marginalized and the poor and the outcasts treated unjustly and we naturally rise up in emotion (which we should). But is that emotion present in us when we see friends and co-workers and neighbors gratifying the sinful flesh living out of their carnal nature denying the existence of God? Is that emotion present in us when we see this nation divided? Is that emotion present in us when we consider how far off some are according to God’s standard? Is there any emotion at all when we see the wickedness and sin in this world? Let us be a people who are passionate to see “moral equity to prevail in human society” as we seek to be the salt of the earth.
Photo Credit: Mel Jackson