In their ministry, Paul and Silas endured an insane amount of hardship. They were imprisoned, beaten, stoned, rejected, and attacked multiple times. They endured storms, shipwrecks, and other natural challenges. Still, they pressed on. Why? Because they knew that Jesus was the only Way to eternal life, and they knew they had to share it with others.
In one particular instance, they had just been delivered from the worst kind of imprisonment. Immediately, they got back on the Ignatian Way—a Roman thoroughfare that led to their next destination—and kept going in their mission. What gave Paul and Silas the strength to keep going, when their bodies and spirits ached? It was the message they carried—the salt and light they brought to the world.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Being salt and light means that we accept the same truth Paul and Silas did: we won’t be liked by everyone. We were redeemed in order to stand out—to have flavor—to shine. We weren’t created to conform.
This means that we’ll be rejected, spurned, mocked, and ridiculed by the world. That’s part of the territory of following God. However, we have the promise that God will be with us through it all. Jesus’s last words to His disciples were, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” When we cling to Jesus as the most valuable thing in our lives, being rejected and enduring hardship won’t compare to His abiding presence. We’ll be willing to go through anything, because we’ve found the Way, and want others to find Him, as well.
So keep being salt and light. Keep persevering in your unique calling. Like Paul and Silas, keep going down the roads God calls you to, no matter how difficult it can be at times. Stay salty, because the world desperately needs the truth and the life that you possess.
Dr. Derek Grier