You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses it saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
Our values, our eternal values are expressed not by speech, but by our behavior – by our actions. If we adopt eternal values, and exhibit them in our actions, we will witness to those around us the strong reality of the kingdom of God. Reality of the truth Jesus taught does not rise and fall on the claims of professed Christians, of course, but these verses tell us clearly that a disciple who has not translated faith into action is useless.
Actions that glorify God are prompted and motivated by the Holy Spirit, and by our genuine response to the gift of salvation that Christ supplies. We are given the opportunity to display our passion for Jesus in the things we do and say. There are so many benefits to exhibiting the kingdom that is within us.
In this case, our “saltiness” flavors the environment and the lives of those around us. We are the living presence of God in the world- if we remain salty. Disciples of Christ are to preserve purity and hinder the world’s corruption. If we do not practice the values Christ teaches, then we lose our ability to influence – and we are useless to God’s kingdom.
Just as tasteless salt lacks any value, so does the professed disciple who acts and speaks like the world, and never gives evidence of the faith they profess. It has been asked: if you were on trial for being a strong, committed follower of Jesus Christ, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Excerpts from Learning to Live with Eternity’s Values in View Curriculum