Small But Mighty Influence
January 14, 2015
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This is the second in a series of nine photovotionals based on the prints
we have hanging on our walls in our home in Brandon, Florida.
When we were reflecting on how to decorate the walls of our new home here in Florida we decided to use some of my photography. One of the images you see as you come in our front door and glance to the left by the kitchen table is an image of a salt shaker, tipped over, with salt spilling out. Salt is a mineral that’s very prevalent and very important. It’s found in huge deposits within the earth, and the vast oceans are very salty with a salinity of 3.5. Salt is necessary for life; human tissue contains a significant amount of salt. Our bodies desire salt and therefore we have taste buds designed to detect salt. That’s why we need salt in food for it to taste good. Salt has also been used throughout history as a preservative. We can’t live without salt.
Jesus said that His followers are to be like salt. “You are the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5:13) Salt’s properties of flavoring and preserving are to be the properties of our lives as well. We’re to be a positive influence in this tasteless and decaying world.
Author Tim Keller describes three factors that have to be present for us to influence others in a Christ-like way. He writes that we must be like those around us, unlike those around us, and engaged with those around us.
We have to be like others, a “regular” person to others, not odd (lots of people have a caricature of Christians being odd). We have to be unlike others in that we should be exhibiting the distinctive characteristics of a person who follows Christ and not the ways of the world. Then we have to be engaged and by this Keller means two things, that we’re to hang around people who aren’t necessarily followers of Jesus (not living in a Christian bubble) and that we’re to be comfortable in allowing our faith in Christ to show; for instance, engaging in conversations about our faith.
We all want our lives to have meaning and purpose. The most significant person ever was Jesus, and when we follow Him our lives, too, can be lived with significance.
“You are the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5:13)