Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

influence Archive



May 2022

More salt, please!

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

A multi-functional mineral, salt comes in different forms and is used for many different purposes.

"You are the salt of the earth;" (Matthew 5:13) | Read more about salt on hopereflected.com

From preserving and flavouring food to home health remedies, salt has been used for thousands of years.

The process of “curing”

Before the days of refrigerators, people would preserve the shelf time of their meat by using salt. This process is called “curing”. In Leviticus 2, God instructed Moses that every meat offering was to be given with salt. “And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.” (Leviticus 2:13). That’s not to say that the Levites were offering up cured meats, but they were careful to use salt with every sacrifice. The salt acted as a cure, purifying the meat, so that the sacrifices that were offered were as clean as possible.

"Salt is to be used as a preservative and to add flavour." Read more about salt on hopereflected.com

We are the salt of the earth

“…every sacrifice shall be salted with salt,” Jesus said (Mark 9:49). Christ referred to us as “the salt of the earth:” (Matthew 5:13). We are meant for far more than blending in and being agreeable. Salt is to be used, both as a preservative and to add flavour. As Christians, we are meant to be a good influence on others, and to lead in thought and virtue, because our conscience is based in God’s truth. We are not called to be influenced by the world, but rather we are called to influence the world.

"Because our conscience is based on God's Word, we ought to lead in thought and virtue. We are meant to have a good influence on others." Read more about salt on hopereflected.com

If salt loses its saltness

What did Jesus mean when He said “if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it?” (Mark 9:50). If salt loses its saltness, while it may still look like salt, it certainly doesn’t taste like it, and what good is that? If you had such a salt in your kitchen, you’d probably throw it out, and you’d certainly never use it. So as Christians, if we stray from our faith, if we stop serving the Lord and start serving our own self-interest, we may still appear to be Christians, but we become useless.

God is not interested in using the Christian who is not living for Him. God doesn’t want us to be mere spectators in this world; He wants us to be part of His story. The Christian who does not stand up for Biblical truth and have a backbone is not capable of Kingdom work. “Have salt in yourselves,” Jesus said (Mark 9:50), “and have peace one with another.”

"We are not to be influenced by the world; the world is to be influenced by us." Read more about salt on hopereflected.com

Stand out and stand up

As Old Testament sacrifices were seasoned with salt, so should we be in our lives and relationships. If we’re living lives that are seasoned with salt, it should be obvious. Christians should stand out and stand up.

“Christians should stand out and stand up.”

Hope Reflected

We should, not only through our words but also through our daily actions, exhort others to do the same. Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” (Colossians 4:6). To be seasoned with salt is to be sharp, that is not to say cold or harsh, but informed and eloquent.

Originally published as “More salt, please!” Independent Plus. January 13, 2022: 5. Print. Web.



August 2014

Hope, She Wrote: Who Are Your Influences?

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work, Uncategorized


My latest column for The Minto Express focuses on the subject of influence. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some really insightful conversations with friends and family about the impact and importance of positive influences — I’m so thankful to know some pretty stellar souls who consistently inspire and exhort others around them.

The late Jim Rohn once shared this theory that we are all the average of the five people we spend the most time with. The first time I heard that statement, I questioned it’s validity, since the majority of my time is spent in an office (with some pretty cool people, but still). The friends we choose and the company we keep can have a major impact on us.

The people we choose to surround ourselves with, – like it or not, – have an influence in our lives, whether that’s good or bad. That’s a scary thought. Surround yourself with negative thinkers and pessimistic people, and chances are their attitudes will wear on you. Comparatively, surround yourself with motivated, positive, and genuine people, and eventually this could have a positive impact on you.

Not to say that we each don’t have the ability to choose our attitudes; it’s just that sometimes, (oftentimes without even being aware) we can be influenced by attitudes that directly affect our behavior. And we all know the truth: “It’s easier for others to bring you down than it is for you to lift them up.” Look at the lifestyles of your closest friends – what are their habits and traits? Are those habits and traits also present in your own life, and if so, is that a good thing? See also, “A man is known by the company he keeps”.

So how do we make sure the right things (and people) are influencing us?

Positive relationships support positive behaviours. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and inspire you to become your best self, and not the reverse. Also remember the importance of honesty. There’s this thing that Pastor Rick Warren talks about, called “sharing the truth in love” (sometimes known in professional circles as “constructive criticism”). True friends don’t sugar-coat or avoid life’s serious subject matter. They’re real about the heavy things in life, and they try to help you through.

Remember your influence. True friends are hard to find, so when you find them, nurture those relationships. Relationships are not a one-way street; they require “relating”, people! So sure, you want to surround yourself with people who positively influence you, however it’s just as important to remember that to someone, you may be their major influence. Guard your actions, and like the golden rule says, remember to cultivate that as you’d want someone to do for you.

Be true to you. One of the scary things about influence is that it often goes unnoticed until it’s pretty deeply engrained. Always remain true to who you are. Don’t lower your expectations or standards just because the people around you may not share the same values. Also, don’t get sucked in by the notion of peer pressure. Be the creation you were made to be – each one of us has a unique purpose here on this Earth.

Robertson, Hope. “Who Are Your Influences?” Minto Express 13 August 2014: 5. Print.