13 “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 and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 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.
If I could stop the world from settling into mediocrity, I probably would. It seems like Americans have settled into a new standard of mediocre living. Movies have the same plot. Education can be substandard. Morals are disappearing every year. Every participant is youth sports gets a prize. I’m sure we both could get adding to the list, but I will add one more that should get our attention.
Christians do just enough. Of course, even this phrase can have multiple meaning. Until we place the phrase next to our standard of living – the Word of God. Matthew 5:13-16 reminds us that mediocrity is not for the Christian.
First, we are to be the salt of the earth. Not only are we to provide a new flavor to the world, but we are supposed to be a preservative. In the days when Jesus walked the earth, there were no refrigerators or freezers. Meat had to be packed in salt so it would stay fresh.
Can you imagine what would happen to your meat if you used salt that was mixed with dirt or mud? Your meat would be tainted with bacteria. You could no longer prevent that bacteria from growing. The salt no longer was capable of doing its job. Fellow Christian, when we do just enough, we are mixing our salt with dirt and mud. As a result, we lose our ability to live out our design – preserve the culture around us.
Second, we are to be the light of the world. The verse continues to say a person would place his lamp on a stand and never think of covering it with a basket. With no basket, the light moves freely throughout the entire house.
This is the part of the verse that brought the most thought. When you last bought a lamp, what did you pick out to go with your lamp? The last time we looked at lamps, our hardest selection was the lamp shade. Did you hear that? Our most difficult selection was something designed to dim the light. That is opposite from how Jesus told us to live. We are to shine our lights without a basket (or lamp shade) covering it. Our cultural norm is to dim a light.
Take a look at your spiritual light. Have you bought a lamp shade to cover it? Is it shining brightly for all to see. I’m concerned that lamp shades have created a new normal that accepts mediocre light in our houses.
If dim light is normal in our culture and our churches, we must become anti-culture for our spiritual light to shine brightly.
How are you doing? How bright is your spiritual light shining? Have you placed a lamp shade over your light?
I want to encourage you to fight the battle of mediocrity in your own life and allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine brightly through your life. Spend some time evaluating what that looks like in your life today.