We “know” well that we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are not to lose our saltiness or be hidden under a bowl (Matthew 5:13-16). Perhaps sometimes however, while knowing it applies to each of us as Christians, we think of it more in terms of great sermons, dynamic Bible lessons, and brilliant moments of boldness. It’s the extreme extrovert, the paid minister, the new “on-fire” believer, and Bible study leader who are really more the salt and light than are we.
Specific and direct conversations/opportunities to share our faith are wonderful, but it’s also the day to day moments, the simple acts of living life that speak volumes. And since day to day living and casual conversations occur more frequently we need never underestimate their influence.
As I teach at the kids’ school, I pray, amongst the mathematical lessons I can be a light for Christ. I pray for wisdom and that my speech “may be always gracious, seasoned with salt, so you (meaning I) may know how you should answer each person” (Col. 4:6).
I’m sure I fail at times. I’m sure at times my words are not well seasoned. But one day several weeks ago, there was an an opportunity for seasoned words . . . . .
The abundance and availability of English movies, games, etc leads to non-English speakers hearing and repeating some interesting (sometimes offensive) phrases without understanding. It is within this context that one of my students asked (please remember minus his English phrase the rest of his words were Portuguese but I’ve translated for you),
“Mrs Been, is ‘O my God‘ an insult?”
I told him that if he was asking whether it was an insult to another person (i.e. human), then no, but that “God” is a name and not just any name but the English name for God, the creator of the universe and Lord of all. I explained that God is holy and to use this expression was being flippant and disrespectful of who God is; that God has asked us to not speak His name unless we are talking to Him in prayer or about him. I reversed the language to ask him what he thought of the expression and name usage as it related to his faith. Would that be an insult towards another person or a proper expression after kicking one’s toe? He said, “no.” Conversation continued for a bit and we then returned to the lesson at hand.
It wasn’t a direct and specific conversation about Jesus or His salvation, but it was an opportunity to share, just a bit, with this student and my class at large. It wasn’t much, but it was a small sprinkling of salt.
As the final trimester of school has started and it appears I’m teaching through the end of the year I pray I can continue to be salt and light. Specific and direct opportunities would be wonderful, but may I recognize and claim also the casual, day-to-day moments as well.