“You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world. . . .” — Matthew 5:13-14
Our family went on a tour of the Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota last summer. My favorite part of a cave tour like that is when they turn off all the lights and there is nothing but darkness all around. You could stare at your hand for hours and never see it in front of you. Your eyes need light in order to see anything, so they can’t see in total darkness. But once a light is turned on again, everything is illuminated. You can see the walls and the floor and the people around you. Even the smallest amount of light makes a difference in a totally dark cave.
Jesus tells his listeners that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. They cannot be hidden; they are called to influence what is around them. The faith that Jesus forms in us compels us do that. It doesn’t just remain inside of us. It overflows from us and shines God’s light in the darkness of the world around us.
In our conversations with people—whether they are friends or people we haven’t met before—is there a right or a wrong time to talk about our faith in Jesus? Some friends and I were discussing that one day. But maybe that discussion was misleading. Light doesn’t wait around, choosing the right time to express itself. Neither does salt. And neither does our faith. It makes an impact on its surroundings at all times.
Faith should always influence our conversations and actions. It has to—that’s just its nature.