Do Good. Be Light.

Written on 06/05/2023
Christian Dunn

Verse: Matthew 5:13-16

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

As I was reading this verse today, I was thinking, "OK, what's the simplest way I can think about this verse?" Sometimes it helps me to do that. To simplify. To break it down to it's basic assertion. Obviously this verse is about being God's representatives to a broken world. Jesus uses imagery of salt and light to accentuate that we are set apart and different—but not different just for different's sake—we are different in a good way. Light in a dark night is different, and welcome. It's not annoying. We are like water to a thirsty person, or oxygen to a person struggling to breathe, or medicine to a sick person. We are different, but in a good way—in a way that brings hope and healing.

But what do the light and salt represent? How do we actually do this? This is where I tried to simplify it. "Do good works in the name of Jesus." What if that was the definition of being salt and light? I'm not saying there aren't other ways to be the light, but in this context Jesus says, "let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." 

At least three things are happening there: (1) we have to do good deeds, (2) they have to see our good deeds, (3) somehow they need to know it's connected to our faith.

What if it's that simple? That is literally something we can all do. How can we do good deeds in the name of Jesus? Does it mean we have to say "I'm only doing this because of Jesus" every time we help someone?!? No. I think if people know we are Christians, it will open the door for them to make the connection.

So how can we do good deeds in our every day life? How can we be the light? 

Let that be the thought you meditate upon today. At school, or home, or work—how can you do good deeds?