This past week was hard.
Being a full time college student is never easy. Taking 18 credit hours, playing a collegiate sport, and working full time also doesn’t really benefit my stress levels either. We have exams to study for, assignments that must be completed, practices we must go to, and hours that we have to get in to pay the bills. Oh, and have I mentioned about sleep? Yeah, it would be nice to get some of that here and there.
Something that I realized this past week was no matter what is going on in our daily lives we can’t let our stress, and bad encounters burn us out. As Christians are called the salt and light of the world.
Matthew 5:13-16 tells us, ”
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
But what even does this mean? Salt makes things taste differently, and light helps guide us into the right direction, right? As Christians we are called to be the difference and shine the light of Christ for ALL of the world to see! We are the representatives of Christ that everyone around us will see. As Christians we need to project kindness, patience, self control, forgiveness, peace, and joy. Most of all we need to spread love. And by love I don’t mean just to your boyfriend when he actually lets you pick what show to watch next, or your family when you’re making your weekly call back home to tell your parents how school’s going. As Christians we need to cast these good fruits to everyone that we come in contact with no matter what the situation is. I’ll admit when I’m this busy and stressed I can get pretty cranky sometimes. And it’s hard to show love, and patience to someone that really isn’t working with me well when I am down to my last straw.
However, the other day when I was trying to cram in some studying in between my classes I walked over to a church across the street from my school to get some coffee. Every day there is a cute elderly woman who refills the coffee in the mornings, and just seeing her makes my day. I walked into the church to get some coffee, and at first I was going to walk the other way because I was focused on just getting my work done. Instead, I greet her with a smile and good morning because I knew that wasn’t very Christ-like of me. She asks me how I’m doing, and while I am very tempted to say that I can be doing better, or awful, or another negative comment, I tell her that I’m good. She replies back with, “You’re smile is always the best start of the day”. Then I realized these are the moments that really make me take a step back and reevaluate my life.
So then I began to think to myself. Yes, I am pretty busy and I am reasonable stressed, but does that mean I should have a bad attitude? Nope.
Sure, we are going to have our bad days. We are going to have moments where things are not going to be in our favor, but it is our responsibility as Christians to turn that moment around, and think how can we use this situation to glorify the kingdom.
Being the salt and light can not always be the easiest thing to do, but it is our responsibility as Christians to work at it every day at our personal best.
No matter what situation you are in, whether that means you are stressed to the max with exams, annoyed with a coworker, or in a fight with your best friend don’t take the situation for an opportunity to be “right”, or to have the last word. Instead, use this situation as an opportunity to be the difference further the kingdom. You’re better than that. You don’t need some fancy come-back, or a snarky remark in the argument just to feel better. Something that my mom has always said to me since I can remember, “Don’t try to be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution”. Be the salt, and light. Be the difference, and shine not for yourself, but for Christ.
Weekly Challenge: The next time you are frustrated, or upset don’t be so quick to judge or make negative assumptions. Negativity doesn’t help ANYTHING. Think about what YOU can do to be a part of the solution and not the problem. YOU can make a difference- positively or negatively. It’s up to you how make it. You never know who’s life you are going to impact.