Friday, July 6, 2018

7 Virtues of a Salt-and-Light Home

I recently listened to a sermon from a dear spiritual father of mine, Dr. Charles Stanley. In his message titled “Standing on Your Convictions,” he spoke about the current challenges in American culture. He used these seven words to describe our culture, and I agree with his observations:

·         Immoral

·         Greedy

·         Prideful

·         Indulgent
·         Slothful
·         Ungrateful
·         Irreverent
Like the Israelites in David and Solomon’s reigns, we have enjoyed the blessings of living in a prosperous country. Dr. Stanley said that all nations around the world have been blessed by Christian missions sent from America in some form. America has given more for missions than any other nation in history.

Yet like the Israelites, our nation’s heart has turned away from God to worship idols. But God has still preserved a remnant of his people in our culture, just as he did in theirs, to carry his plan and purpose forward. True Christ followers are God's remnant today, and we are called to be set apart in this culture.
As Christians, we are the preserving salt and the shining light in our cultures.
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Let's look at these words of Jesus together:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Matthew 5:13-16 NIV

So what can we do as Christians in days like these? Friends, we MUST be salt and light in our culture. Salt to preserve and give flavor to a decaying culture. Light to shine in the darkness. Missionaries in our own neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, shopping venues, and dare I say, churches.
We need to develop salt-and-light virtues in our own homes first, intentionally teaching our families different values than the culture provides.
You can cultivate a salt-and-light stance by pursuing the opposites of what Dr. Stanley described. Here’s a scripture for each virtue to discuss in your home today:

Integrity (vs. Immorality)
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. Proverbs 10:9 NIV
Contentment (vs. Greed)
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 NIV
Humility (vs. Pride)
Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. Proverbs 18:12 NIV
Self-Controlled (vs. Indulgence)
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28 NIV
Diligent (vs. Sloth)
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4 NIV
Thankful (vs. Ungratefulness)
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28 NIV

Talk with your family about each virtue and vice. Give examples of times when we act wrong and times when we show by our actions that we are following Jesus’ example. Bonus: ask your children to point out to you when you are showing the vice rather than the virtue.
Even if you have adult children outside of the home, you can still have a conversation about how they see these vices at work in the culture and what they can do to cultivate salt-and-light virtues.

Friends, we don’t know what the future holds for our country. But we can be faithful in our own walks, and it starts by focusing on God’s Word in our own homes and families. I encourage you today to take heart because Jesus has already overcome the world, and to find your purpose in this culture as a salt-and-light Christian.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Reflection questions:

1. Which virtue is most appealing to you, and why?
2. What vice is the biggest struggle for you, and how can you commit it to prayer?


  1. There's lots of wisdom in Dr. Charles Stanley. He preaches the truth without apology. As large as his church is, people still use the Bible and take notes in his church. That's amazing in itself. Thankful for men such as he who are still preaching the word and not giving up and retiring from the ministry.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Judy. I have listened to him for decades, and I got to visit his church twice. So glad that God is blessing him with good health so he can continue preaching!

  2. I'm currently memorizing these very verses in my Matthew 5 memory challenge! So I love that God gave me this post. :) Thanks for this, Sarah: "I encourage you today to take heart because Jesus has already overcome the world, and to find your purpose in this culture as a salt-and-light Christian."

    1. Thanks Lisa! Memorizing scriptures is so important!


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