8 Characteristics of Salt-and-Light Living
Matthew 5:13-14 (you are the salt of the earth . . . you are the light of the world) is a passage usually spoken of in connection with the subject of evangelism. We are salt and light by being bold about our faith, preaching the gospel, etc. But these verses come in a context that has nothing to do with such matters. They come in the context of Jesus Christ’s discussion of spiritual integrity--or in other words, his discussion of an inward heart-attitude that is consistently and thoroughly "walked out" in the common affairs of life. That is, the faith and the life are perfectly in sync.
So then, regarding salt and light, the light that we are to shine and the "flavor" that we are to add to the world simply by virtue of our being in it, has about it the following qualities:
Beatitude #1 - spiritual poverty or deep humility
Beatitude #2 - a prompt and authentic sensitivity to the pain of others Beatitude #3 - meekness or gentleness (as opposed, perhaps, to a retributive spirit)
Beatitude #4 - a hunger for what is right or in line with God’s character and will
Beatitude #5 - a disposition to mercy or deep and consistent and "natural" kindness
Beatitude #6 - purity of heart (wholeness, integrity)
Beatitude #7 - peacemaking
Beatitude #8 - such a commitment to what is right that one is even willing to endure persecution for it
These are the aspects of salt-and-light-living that Jesus purposefully chose to highlight in this inaugural sermon of his ministry. Much that follows is simply illustration of these 8 important characteristics. I am all for evangelism, I am all for being open about one's faith, but how much more powerful might our "witness" become if it were corroborated by these deeply-rooted character traits?
Oh, and by the way, did I mention that such a life, according to Jesus' repeated emphasis, is blessed by God?