This article was originally published in Faith Filled Family Magazine
Just this morning I was sitting down to have my quiet time and my phone buzzed with an incoming message. It was a dear friend who is walking through something very difficult. My heart just ached for her as I tried to think of ways to help her through this trying time.
I’m just little old me and I’m not really sure what I can do to help anyone.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like you were too small or too insignificant to make a difference? Have you ever wondered if the things that you are doing really matter? Friend, they do.
You are a salt shaker. You are a shining light.
Each and every one of us has the ability to make a difference in this world. We have each been placed in our particular set of circumstances with our particular group of family and friends because we have the ability to make a difference. We are called to be salt and light.
In the Message version of the Bible, Matthew 5:13-16 puts it very plainly in a way that really hits home. “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt- seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness… Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you in a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand- shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
How? How do we make a difference? How do we bring out the God-flavors of the earth? How do we bring out the God-colors in the world? How do we shine?
I’m glad you asked?
I’ve got a few fool proof methods that always seems to work for me. When someone comes to me with a need, I know I can’t rely on myself. I would probably let them down. Instead, I do my best to shake a little salt and shine a little light. Here are three ways I believe we can do that no matter how small or insignificant we feel.
THREE WAYS TO SHAKE A LITTLE SALT AND SHINE A LITTLE LIGHT
My first response is always to bring any situation or any person before the throne of God and cover them in prayer. He can do more to help in a situation than I could ever dream of doing. Prayer moves mountains, friends. James 5:16 CEB says, “…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.” Matthew 18:20 CEB reminds us that “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” It is powerful. Don’t ever underestimate the value of praying for someone.
- Use Life Giving Words
This life can be a hard one and there is no shortage of trials, but when someone comes along and lifts you up with an encouraging word from the scripture, things seem just a little easier. There is so much power in our words. They have the power to hurt or to heal. They have the power to lighten a load. They also have the power to point someone to Jesus. Have you ever been really struggling and someone spoke life right into your weary heart?
When I don’t know what to do or what to say, I just use scripture. I’m notorious for texting or messaging scripture verses that relate to a situation and can give peace and perspective when my own words would fall short. Hebrews 4:12 CEB says that “God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. No creature is hidden from it, but rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer.”
- Be Real
C.S. Lewis’ quote on friendship is a favorite of mine. He says, “Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another, “What! You too? I thought no one but myself…” This world is full of the fake and the edited. We often only see the very best of a person. People can easily get caught in the trap of comparison. It can be disheartening to someone who is struggling. Counteract this. Be real, open, and honest about your life and your struggles with the people in your life. Help them to see that they aren’t alone and that they have a true friend in you.
These three tips have been tried and true ways that I’ve found to make a difference in the lives of others. I pray that they are helpful to you! I hope that you will use them and go forth and shake a little salt and shine a little light!
Love and Blessings,