A couple of weeks ago, our High School Youth group spent a Wednesday evening looking at what Jesus meant when he said:

“You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13).

We thought through the different uses for salt and tried to discern what Jesus might have meant when he used “salt” to refer to those who repent for the kingdom of heaven is near (Matthew 4:17). We came up with 3 uses (and actually a possible fourth):

  1. Preserving
  2. Seasoning
  3. Cleansing
  4. Melting snow

During our small group time, the first question was:

Do you know any Christians? If you do, what is unique about them? What makes a Christian stand out?

In my small group (guys), of the eight questions provided, we spent the majority of our time on this first set. Here were their responses:

  • put God first
  • higher standard in life
  • high moral system
  • selfless
  • positive
  • not afraid to stand out
  • thermostat (set the temperature versus just succumb to the temperature around you)
  • fullness
  • satisfied
  • no worries
  • peace
  • not saddled by things
  • happy when suffering
  • honest
  • speak openly
  • slow to anger
  • integrity
  • not strapped by judgment
  • sincere love
  • genuine love
  • don’t follow others
  • transcend disagreements
  • love your enemy

Quite a list, eh?!

Toward the end of creating this list, one of the guys made a comment: “This is a description of the PERFECT Christian. No one is this perfect.”

It was a such a beautiful moment where instead of me as the leader/teacher describing a vision of what a member of the kingdom of God looks like, the students did it. They merely looked at people they looked up to and the character they exhibited and described what they saw.

And in the process of capturing that vision, one of them (probably all of them) was overwhelmed by that vision. The really neat part is that our invitation into the kingdom of the heavens Jesus is proclaiming in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) isn’t something we have to strive for. Instead, Jesus simply tells his audience: “Repent.” In other words, turn from your way of building your own personal kingdom and pick up Jesus’ vision of what true humanity looks like. Let go, surrender, repent.