What It Means to Be Salt and Light

Jesus said his followers are to be salt and light in a rotting, bland, dark world (Matt. 5:13–16). Christians are to make things better and brighter for others by bringing out the God flavors and God colors to the world. How do you shake salt and shine light?

Start by understanding a few things better.

Most lost people do not have a correct picture of God. Many lost people aren’t anti-God. They just don’t have the right picture of God, and that keeps them from coming to him. You can help them understand who God is and how much he loves them.

All lost people need to be unconditionally loved. They feel as if many churches and Christians would rather correct them than connect with them. You can love them.

Most lost people will not come to church for help. Church is not on the radar screen of most lost people. Since you are the church, you can go where they are.

Most Christians do not connect strategically with lost people. Before you lead people, you need to find them. You can connect with lost people every day.

Here are five things you can do to help lost people not to be lost:

1. Connect With and Care for Lost People.

Your model is Jesus, the Great Connector. An examination of Matthew 9:35–38 shows that Jesus:
• Connected physically. “Jesus went about all the cities and villages” (Matt. 9:35).
• Connected visually. “He saw the multitudes” (Matt. 9:36).
• Connected emotionally. “He was moved with compassion” (Matt. 9:36).
• Connected spiritually. He was “teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 9:35).

When you follow Jesus through the Gospels, you realize how much he valued people. Jesus continuously ventured to where lost people were so he could connect with and care for them.

2. Pray for an Opportunity to Share Your Faith.

Praying to share your faith makes you “soul-conscious.” When you pray for that opportunity, God will bring it to you. Ask God for eyes to see and courage to take advantage of divine opportunities to shake salt and shine light.

3. Intentionally Share Positive God Thoughts.

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside. … Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:5, 6). Add salt to people. Make them thirsty to know more about God.

4. Add Value to Others So You Can Gain Respect and Develop Relationships.

In the morning ask yourself: How am I going to add value to others today? At night ask yourself: To whom did I add value today?

5. Create a List of Lost People and Bring Them Salt and Light Repeatedly.

People are the object of God’s heart, but your work of reaching them is like any other goal. It requires you to be intentional and strategic.

The world is filled with people who are hungry. They need salt to purify and enhance their lives. They are blindly wandering in the dark. They need light so they can see who God is, what he has done, and what he wants to do in and through them. And this is where you can make a difference as a leader. Start shaking salt and shining light for them today.

Adapted from The Maxwell Leadership Bible, Third Edition by John C. Maxwell. Copyright © 2002, 2007, 2018 by Maxwell Motivation, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. ThomasNelson.com

John Maxwell
John Maxwell

John C. Maxwell, a New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker, has sold 30 million books. He has been called the No. 1 leader in business by the AMA and the world’s most influential leadership expert by Inc. His organizations—The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, EQUIP and the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation—have trained millions of leaders from every nation. Visit JohnMaxwell.com for more information.