16 In this way let your light shine before men, so that they might see your good deeds and so might honour your Father, who is in Heaven.
It is often said that there is a purpose for everything, and that everything has its purpose. This is certainly true when it comes to Christians being both the salt of the earth, and also the light of the world.
Jesus stated the purpose very clearly, and it is that our Father is honoured.
This is very important for us to understand. In the activity of being salt and light it is possible for us to portray an attitude of lifting up the way we behave, highlighting how good we are, exalting ourselves above our Lord and Saviour Jesus.
To put it simply: our being salt and light can lead to us boasting about ourselves. All our boast should ever be is in the cross of Christ Jesus.
God’s word tells us that the purpose of being salt and light is so that God, our Father, will be honoured and glorified.
Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbours. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honourable behaviour, and they will believe and give honour to God when He comes to judge the world – 1 Peter 2.12 (NLT).
Perhaps when Peter wrote these words he may have been mindful of what Jesus had said in the Sermon on the Mount.
Sometimes it may be difficult to live and behave as the salt and light of the world. The way in which others treat Christians through persecution can make it extremely difficult to be salt and light. However, through Jesus, who strengthens us we are able to shine through the attacks of darkness. The assurance is that as we do so those who oppose us will come to give honour and glory to our Heavenly Father.
This is the purpose of our being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Peter put it this way:
You are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light – 1 Peter 2.9 (NLT).