“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:13-16
God created us for relationships. Within those relationships, we are called to be salt and light–the flavor and illumination of God’s love that has been extended to us. When we respond to the love of God found in Jesus, we become partakers in the Common Story. We share and tell our part of the Story, as well as advance God’s kingdom in this world through the cultivating of other vibrant relationships. This is the context in which God has called his Church–the people of God–to grow in connection to Christ.
We do not live in a vacuum and we cannot be a bunch of isolated individuals doing his/her own thing and remain healthy. We need to speak into one another’s lives. Our lack of action or input into the lives of others can cause us to lose saltiness. Let’s look at some attributes of vibrant relationships modeled by Jesus:
• Vibrant relationships have regular interaction. Stay connected to those God has placed in your life; we must engage in the life journey in order to share a “living faith.” Jesus did.
• Vibrant relationships are built on time. Great seeds are planted in healthy relationships; it takes time for them to grow. Build a history/story with people. Jesus did.
• Vibrant relationships are not afraid to expose personal weakness. We really like being seen in the best “light,” but everyone has weaknesses and shortcomings. Build relationships that can handle knowing that weaknesses are just a part of our humanity. Let’s choose to be real, as well as good listeners for others. Jesus did.
• Vibrant relationships are safe to share dreams and hopes. The enemy seeks to snuff out our dreams and hopes. People who seek to do so are not safe. Know the difference. Build relationships with people who are excited about their dreams AND yours. Step away from people who focus on their own personal agendas or interests at your demise. We must assist one another with our destinies in God; to help each other see more clearly. Please realize when one member of God’s family–other living stones–excel we all excel and are blessed. A proper response when someone shares a dream with you is to listen, pray with him/her, and encourage each to follow and obey God. You want whatever God has for them, too. Jesus did.
• Vibrant relationships know how to inspire life. Healthy relationships look beyond the personal horizon and seek to impart life to others. We can do that in our marriages, families, friendships, churches, communities, etc. People desire to be valued by “who” they are not just how they meet your needs or see and help you meet your goals. If we are only concerned about loyal performance to a “cause,” we will be salt with no flavor. Life is in the Spirit. We do need to bear the fruit of the Spirit. It is how we inspire and impart life–a living faith–to others. Impart life. Jesus did.
There’s a world full of hurting people. Many of these people have never had a healthy and/or vibrant relationship–a vibrant relationship filled with the salt and light of Christ’s love. Jesus told us that others would know we are his disciples by our love (John 13:35). The one thing that will prove to others that God is with us is the evidence of our love for God and one another. Love is the salt and light we must spread in this world.