January 25, 2015
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house." Matthew 5:14-15
When you are at work, what kind of impact are you making? As a Christ follower, do you look different? Or are you just like everyone else? I'd like to say that I used to be different. When I first began working in my current place of employment, I'd excuse myself from conversations that were negative or filled with gossip if I could. Otherwise, I would look for opportunities to change the conversation topic to something a little more positive or one without gossip. Or, I'd sit silently waiting for the subject to transition.
Of anyone made a religious joke or anything God related, I would take the time to educate them on the scriptures. I was always positive and upbeat. I had a great attitude regardless and was willing to go above and beyond to help others.
I'd like to think I was different. I 'd like to think I was a bright spot. I remember when it all changed. I think I just got tired. Sometimes being the light can take more energy than I wanted to exert, so I became a little lazier around the third year. I began joining in on gossip conversations, and adding to complaints.
While reflecting on the difference between then and now, I thought about Lot, Abram's nephew. He went to Sodom. He may have been God fearing, but his lifestyle seems to have made no impact on this city. His being there made no city. He went along with the majority, for the most part, and in the end, God destroyed the city because of the amount of sin there.
When the angels of the Lord came to bring Lot and his family out of Sodom, they said not to look back. Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26). She didn't look back in disgust. She looked back longingly, probably missing the life she was leaving. Perhaps she was even pining away for the possessions she had to leave behind. Either way, had she made an eternal impact in Sodom, she may have been more willing to look forward and not turn around as the angels of the Lord commissioned. Maybe she didn't trust that God knew what He was doing, that He was saving her from the death and destruction that awaited Sodom, so she looked back longing to return.
It wasn't just his wife that were effected by this city. When the angels of the Lord began escorting them out of the city, Lot hesitated (Genesis 19:16). Why would he hesitate when He knew that God had sent His angels to lead he and his family to safety? Also, his daughters' husbands thought he was joking when he told them they all needed to leave. So they decided to stay. (Genesis 19:14)
Lot and his family got caught up. They got caught up in the things of this world and were unable to focus on the things of God. Although he was described as a righteous man, he did nothing to try to bring about change in the city of Sodom.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we need not be conformed to this world, but we must be transformed by renewing our minds. We are transformed by renewing our minds through our relationship with God and keeping our mind set upon Him. When we get caught up in the matters of this world, we are more likely to be conformed to this world, thus less likely to be transformed by renewing our minds.
We do live in the world, but as righteous followers of Christ, we are not of this world. We are to be the light in the darkness. We are to bring about change in whatever environment God has placed us, not allow that environment change us. God refers to us as the salt and light of the world. Light causes change because it adds light to darkness. You cannot hide light in darkness. Therefore, in order to truly be the light of the world, we must be the change makers.
God destroyed Sodom because of the infestation of sin. He destroyed it. We as Christ followers have a calling. We must be the difference. We must be the change. We must stand firmly on our beliefs in such a way that it attracts others to want to be different also.
I once heard, "You can take Lot out of Sodom, but you can't take Sodom out of Lot." Whatever we do, and wherever we go, we must hold so tightly to Jesus that when we leave a place, we have--through our light--made it better for His glory.