Think of a time when someone’s words made you believe in yourself. Whether they were spoken or written, what did those words do to you?
Words of encouragement or affirmation are a blessing. Sometimes we think of blessing as merely a state of mind. I think that’s part of it but, if you really think about it, blessing isn’t about what you do, it’s about who you are.
We’ve tried to encourage people for the entirety of our marriage. We got married and essentially started ministry. The hope was that we would speak words of encouragement to people so they would live like they were blessed. Then, in turn, they would be a blessing to others. Sometimes we’ve failed and fallen short; the weight of that disappointment is heavy. But I can’t live there. I choose to believe the words of Jesus when he speaks to a crowd of followers at the sermon on the mount:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit…those who mourn…the meek…the peacemakers…rejoice and be glad…heaven is your home” (Matthew 5 – my paraphrase)
But he goes on to say that salt is really useless if it loses it’s saltiness. I think of the huge salt lick my horse Ebony used to slurp on. After she’d licked all the taste off it, I’d have to chip away at the block, letting the excess fall to the ground. What fell on the ground was just the outer layer, the stuff that was left behind after the block lost it’s taste.
I want to be salt and light to the world. I want to encourage and lift you up. But, if you don’t’ receive these “blessings,” then it’s of no use. It’s simply an outer layer of the salt lick that gets chipped away, falling to the ground to be trampled under foot.
So what will you choose today? Will you choose to be salt and light to your world?
“…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Matt Hastings lives with his wife Keri and their five children in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He is the pastor of the Estill Springs Church of the Nazarene. [Editor’s Note: Matt has graciously allowed us to republish his weekly email devotionals on our site for our readers.]