The Difference Between Salt and Light

The Bible tells us to let our lights shine. Jesus first talks about this on His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:13-16). The Bible also tells us to be salt. Jesus said for us to do this on a few different occasions. But what does it mean? How can I be salt? How can I be light?


Light is seen, especially in the darkness. We are to be a light on a hilltop. We do this by our actions. This is what people see. When darkness, or sin surrounds us, we stand out because we act differently. We handle ourselves differently. We look differently. Our actions line up with what the Bible teaches. We are unselfish. We are good to others when they aren’t good to us. We are confident and bold because we have assurance of salvation. We are optimistic and filled with hope. We aren’t afraid of the enemy because we know we are on the winning team. When things go wrong we aren’t crushed because we have hope in the future.

To be light, we have to act like we are children of God. We have to be children of God. When we humbly follow Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit then we will have the fruits of the Spirit. These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These attributes will naturally show up in a person who is connected to God. Spiritual fruit is what shines in the darkness. You don’t need to think about doing them, they just come naturally when you are fully connected to God.


Salt is tasted. Salt enhances the flavor of what it’s put on only when it is used in moderation. Too much salt destroys food. Salt is what we say. We need to preach the gospel in moderation. Sometimes food doesn’t need any salt. Sometimes we don’t need to say anything we just need to be present and live out the gospel (light). Saying too much can destroy someone and make them run away from God. Be careful of how much salt you put in people’s lives.

However, sometimes we need to put on a lot of salt. We need to talk a lot about the Bible, God, and the gospel. Every situation is different. Be mindful of the people you are around and how much salt they can take in. We are here to flavor the world with the gospel.


Jesus talks more about being the light of the world than being salt. Behaving as Christians is more important than talking about being a Christian. The New Testament mentions the word salt only seven times. However, it mentions light about 91 times. Clearly the Bible is teaching us that what we do is more important than what we say.

Be moderate in how much gospel you preach into someone’s life. If they don’t want to hear it, then don’t say anything, just show them. I hear of too many stories of people being turned away from Christianity because Christians just don’t know how to shut up. We need to close our mouths sometimes and show God’s love with our actions. Stop being a hypocrite. Stop doing the opposite of what you say other people should do. Have a proper balance in your life of salt and light.


Yes, I understand that we all have different personalities. Some people like to talk a lot while others prefer to listen more. I’m the latter. I have no problem being light. But, sometimes I should be more salt and I miss out on opportunities to spread the gospel message. On the other hand, people who enjoy talking sometimes put too much salt in people’s lives and may not even realize it. The key is balance. Know who you are and who the other person is and give the right amount of salt. You can never be too much light but you can be too much salt. Don’t hide your light (Luke 11:33), let your light shine!

Categories: Being a Christian, Galatians, Matthew, New Testament | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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