I love the mission statement of HealthKeeperz, “Caring for all people for the glory of God.” It is at the same time simple and complex. Seemingly easily accomplished and yet seemingly too lofty to attain. In the New Testament glorifying God is demonstrated by highly esteeming or honoring God. Sometimes it is an individual glorifying Him by offering praise for who God is or what He has done. But among the many ways to glorify God, there is one way that moves beyond a single individual's response to God and involves a third party.
Listen to Jesus explain it in the Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16.
“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. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Did you catch that? God is glorified when someone sees your actions and responds in some way which glorifies Him. Perhaps they give thanks for how God demonstrated His love and faithfulness to them through you. Or perhaps their faith is strengthened or they are encouraged by an interaction with you. Notice the two illustrations that Jesus uses. He says that his followers are salt and light. For now, we will consider salt.
Salt was and still is, used to preserve from spoiling or corruption. In a time without modern refrigeration, salt was the most likely option for preventing bacteria from spoiling food. Salt could make the difference between life and death when fresh food was not available. What does this say about us? Through Jesus, we can keep back unhealthy attitudes and actions in the world around us. I bet you have seen it happen when you have encountered someone who was grumpy or cantankerous and you resolved to meet them with kindness and grace. At least for the moment, their grumpiness subsided and they were a little more pleasant to be around.
While we are thankful when this happens the passage in Matthew has in mind the effect of preventing such "rotten" attitudes from ever colonizing. It is not always easy to keep the frustrations, disappointments, and trials of life from spoiling our day or the day of those around us. Therefore, we need each other.
I need someone else's perspective and loving input when my perspective is in danger of being spoiled by a "stinky" attitude. I am very thankful for the people who are salt in my life. Sometimes I can feel the spoiling begin and then one of these “salt of the earth” people show up and like great medicine fighting spreading bacteria, the nastiness is gone. Yes, we should thank God for putting these folks in our lives and when we encourage them by thanking them for their preserving effect we join them in being the “salt of the earth.” And best of all, God is glorified.
May God help us in our grand and very attainable mission of “Caring for all people the glory of God.”
For the glory of God alone,
Chaplain James Chavis, Healthkeeperz