I’ve talked recently about my depression. The following devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley really speaks to me. In depression, you look inward and focus on either what’s going on, inner self-talk, or just putting one foot in front of the other. But most importantly, we are not looking upward or outward. I heard a podcast from Adrian Rogers the other day “How to Answer A Skeptic”, and he spoke of keeping our saltiness. If we allow the rains to fall upon us (the salt) and not keep it sealed away from the storms of life (worldliness), the salt will become contaminated and be useless. I don’t want to be useless, I want to share the hope and love of Christ.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)
How do you use the gift of freedom? God gives all believers true liberty through His Son Jesus Christ. Do you squander that blessing or share it with others? The problem is, some people are so focused on their own needs and desires that they fail to impact even their closest neighbor.
Think about the people you see every week. Do you know how many of your neighbors are sick? Are there people in your church who struggle to make it from day to day? Do you know if any of your coworkers are going through hardships? Most likely, there are individuals all around you who could use assistance. But being self-focused limits our ability to notice those people, let alone reach out to them.
Jesus taught His disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” (Matt. 5:13) In order for salt to remain useful, it must maintain its purity and potency. Likewise, we must endeavor to lead holy, humble, and loving lives, focusing on the Savior’s will rather than our own.
God has prepared the good works that we are to walk in (Eph. 2:10). Our job is to choose to do so.
Whether or not we affect our world positively depends on the focus of our heart. Do you look inward to consider how you can do more to get ahead and add to your lot in life? Or do you look outward and think about ways that you can do more to serve others?