Ours is a tough, rugged, wicked world. Aggression, rebellion, violence, cutthroat competition, and retaliation abound. Not just internationally, but personally. What is true in the secret council chambers of nations is also true behind closed doors of homes. We are stubborn, warring people. Outside of riots and war, studies have concluded, the most dangerous place to be is in the American home! With domestic violence and child abuse on the rise in our hard, hostile society, one might wonder what possible influence the servants of Christ can have.
What impact—how much clout—do the poor in spirit, the gentle, the merciful, the pure in heart, or the peacemakers actually have? Such feeble-sounding virtues seem about as effective as pillow fighting in a nuclear war.
Can our presence do much good? Isn't it pretty much a wasted effort?
Jesus, the One who first painted the servant's portrait, both in words and with His own life, did not share this scepticism. But neither did He deny the battle. Remember these words!
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad; for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
Our Lord admitted that the arena of this world is not a friend of grace. Nevertheless, strange as it may seem, He went on to tell that handful of Palestinian peasants (and all godly servants in every generation) that their influence would be nothing short of remarkable. They would be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." And so shall we!
So far-reaching would be the influence of His servants in society that their presence would be as significant as salt on food and as light on darkness. Neither is loud or externally impressive, but both are essential.
Without our influence this old world would soon begin to realize our absence. Even though it may not admit it, society needs both salt and light.
God has called us to be light-and-salt servants in a dark-and-bland society.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.