Have you ever heard someone say, "There's just something about her"? People sometimes say that when they can't quite put their finger on what it is that makes another person stand out from the crowd. I like when I hear it said about someone who's a Christian. Because when we are led by the Holy Spirit and God's love flows through us, there is something that just draws attention.
The Bible says that Christians are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. On the job, in the grocery store, even among unsaved friends and family members, God's people are there to bring seasoning to an unsavory situation.
We've been hearing this for a long time, but we are definitely living in the last days that Jesus talked about in Matthew 24. Our world is in a state of moral decline. There is so much turmoil in people's lives today, so much darkness. And they're looking for hope. As Christians, we are the ones who can help them find what they need in a relationship with Him.
But, in Matthew 5, Jesus asked what good is it if the salt has lost its flavor? It seems that somewhere along the way, the lines between godliness and ungodliness have gotten blurred. Things that would have been considered wrong 20 or 30 years ago seem to be not so bad today. I wonder what the next 20 years will bring if this continues.
How Will They See?
We may need to ask ourselves: What are we showing the world? What is it that keeps us "salty"? How do we, as Christians, keep our lights shining in the darkness around us? Aside from our Jesus pins and bumper stickers, what sets us apart in the world?
I believe it's holiness. And when I say that, I don't mean religion. I'm not talking about a list of do's and don'ts, or going to church on Sunday mornings just to do your Christian duty one day a week. Religious legalism only gives us rules to follow but no real help to follow them.
When I say holiness, I'm talking about behavior that's borne out of a personal, intimate relationship with God. I'm talking about a place of consecration that causes us to be obedient to the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. Something that makes us walk in love toward others, looking for ways to be a blessing to them.
It's about being, rather than doing. That's the something the world needs to see in us. It's not up to us to preach to everyone around us, telling them everything that's wrong with them. We are simply to be light in the darkness around us-and them-so they can find their way to Jesus.
The Pursuit of Holiness
Hebrews 12:14 tells us to pursue holiness. Different Bible versions use words like "work at," "make every effort," "strive," and "be." Holiness is the outcome of a work of consecration that God does in each of us through our personal relationship with Him. It begins the moment we receive Christ as our Savior. When He comes to live in our heart, we are made holy at that moment. And then little by little, or from glory to glory, He changes us from the inside out so we become more and more like Him (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).
This pursuit is a process by which we are broken and humbled. We learn how to cooperate with God in this work. We learn to lay down our pride and selfishness. We learn to forget ourselves, and in obedience to the Holy Spirit, live to be a blessing to others. We go from, "What about me?" to "How can I help you?"
Don't worry if you feel you haven't "arrived." The fact that you are dissatisfied with where you are or that you're seeking to be a better person or you're in a place of conviction means you are making progress. God didn't promise the process would be fast…or easy…or feel good all the time. Just be thankful for His love and grace while He works.
Now, at any point in the process, we can always be a blessing. I like to say bloom where you are planted. We can be good to somebody anytime. We just need to be real…to share our struggles as well as our victories. Wherever we are in our process of sanctification, the world is watching. And they need to see someone who may not be perfect, yet, "There's just something about that person!"