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For Others

Tom had to admit, he was becoming a cynical person. He seemed to be filled with fear all the time and was often distracted and becoming distant with his family and friends. 

This negative attitude started to take root in him when things at work seemed to become more complicated and harder to manage. When he first started his job things would go smoothly, and if there were problems, they were quickly and fairly resolved. But with the change in leadership at the very top of the organization, things started to change. Now “process” became everything and the people involved in those processes seemed not to matter. Nor did the amount of work thrown on staff matter. Nothing was ever taken away, things were just added. 

It also looked to Tom that decisions were being made all for the wrong reasons. In general, he thought the leaders of the organization were losing the transparency that had originally attracted him to want to work for this company. And Tom had to admit, he wasn’t getting the affirmation he had been getting under the previous leadership. So this made him second guess himself all the time and he started losing confidence in himself. 

People began to see a change in Tom. All of this was having an effect on his personality. His wife and children of course noticed it first, but his closest friends saw something was wrong as well. Tom wasn’t himself and the vibe he was sending to those around him was not positive. Tom was seeing these changes in himself and couldn’t deny any of this. He needed to really take a long hard look at the general direction of his life. He realized he needed to regroup and reclaim the person he was supposed to be—the person God wanted him to be.

Jesus says to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” He’s not talking about himself, he’s telling his followers—and that includes us—what we should be for others. Sometimes things can happen in our own lives (like the person in the story I shared with you) that begin to interfere with the effect that we can have on others, especially those closest to us. If we lose who we are we can’t be salt and light for others. 

And what does it mean to be salt, to be light? In saying that his disciples are “salt of the earth”, Christ is describing the critical character of the Christian vocation. Either the Christian heightens the quality of human life and makes it more palatable, more delightfully nourishing, or he has no reason for being. “Salt is not for itself, cannot be it’s own end; it serves a humble yet somehow indispensable purpose. Insipid (explain word) Christians, those who have lost their proper flavor, have forgotten their function as a condiment of society…No doubt they let this happen by blending into the common environment, out of exhaustion, perhaps, or for some other reason…fear maybe…

Same for the light. Christ is telling us, ‘and by your presence others shall see better’. Salt and light each impart their own virtue, provided they remain fully what they are.

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