We all want to know that we have a purpose. In fact, if someone were to write a book about our purpose, about our lives, and how they might well even be “purpose-driven,” I bet it would sell a million copies.
That book would sell a million copies because this has long been a dilemma for the human mind. It’s not a new thing we wrestle with. Enter Jesus and two simple statements he made on the very frontside of his ministry. Standing on a hillside he told a crowd:
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….
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. (Matthew 5.13-16)
Salt and light. Jesus likens us to two elements that, when injected into any situation rightly, are meant to enhance and improve it. Salt is one of the most ancient preservatives. It prevents or prolongs spoil and decay. Salt is also a seasoning, so it can enhance a food’s taste. Light’s purposes are so obvious that we enjoy them everyday without even noticing or ackowledging the light, itself. When you walk in a room, you don’t notice the light, but you see everything that the light reveals.
And that’s Jesus’s point. Our purpose is not to draw attention to ourselves, but to enhance and improve the situations we find ourselves in. To help, to heal, to season or preserve, to illuminate and make things better. To be purpose-driven light that reveals something about our Father who is in heaven. As salt and light, our purpose is to make the world around us better through our good works.
So be as light and salty as you can. It’s good for the world around you! After all, what good is salt when not used for its purpose?