Being the salt of the earth, and the light of the world has benefits. Yes, that’s right. God has some promises for you to give you an incentive to do good things for others and to make the world a better place to live in.

This is a continuation from part 1 on this subject of being the Salt and the Light of the world.

The promises are spelled out by Jesus:

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

So the promises are:

  1. That other men may see your good deeds.
  2. That others men will praise your Father in heaven.

Now on the surface, these don’t seem to offer any tangible benefits that I can take to the bank with me. But they are a big step in that direction if you think ponder it. Let’s look at the first promise and see what it can mean.

Why would you want other men to see your good deeds? Pause here, and think about that for a few minutes. What benefit is there for others to see what you’ve done?

As a business owner, one of the biggest obstacles I face is “marketing.” It is a constant struggle to get potential customers aware of the products that I sell. There is a sea of competitors that are also advertising to my target group of people, and they are trying to sway those people to buy from them instead of buying from me. Basically, the purpose of marketing is to make people aware of your products and services. It like screaming: “Look over here!!! I’ve got something you need.

When I look at this promise from Jesus, what it is telling me is that when I make life more enjoyable for customers, that my marketing efforts will be far more effective.

This is really good marking advice, and sounds like it came from the Chamber of Commerce instead of the bible. In the end, success comes from making yourself useful to those around you.

Give away the store for free

I’m thinking of a company that is probably one of the most profitable companies on the face of the planet. You use their products every day, and like me, you’ve probably never bought anything from them. The company is Google. They have a really unique business model, which is: “give away good stuff for free that people would value.” They are so successful at giving away free and valuable information, that other companies have gone to Google and thrown money at them and said “put my information in front of those billions of users too.” Google said, “sure.” And that is how Google Adwords came about.

Google makes money by doing good deeds for others. I’d say Google is following the instruction of Jesus to be “Salt and Light.”

It is a really powerful business model, and something that I’m working toward with my web store. I spend probably 50% of my time creating content that I give away – without asking for any money for it. Do you think that makes people’s lives better? My customers think so. At least, that is what they tell me.

People like to be around others that make their life better. Don’t you? And when you find someone that makes your life better, happier, or easier, you do take notice. I know that I do.

I take the promise of Jesus to mean that he will work in the hearts of the people and cause them to take notice of me and the business that I represent. More eyeballs looking in my direction. And because more people notice, there should be more business coming my way. Does that make sense? It does to me. And I’ve noticed a lot more comments from people in my in-box about how they’ve noticed what I’ve done, and how they intend to make their future purchases from me too.

In a competitive industry that I’m in, and I’m sure you’re in one too, having a business model of giving away free stuff and still making money is hard to fathom. But if you can do it, how ever can your competitors compete against you? You’ll accelerate your business’ growth like you’ve never seen before. That is what I think Jesus is getting at with this first promise.

The 2nd Promise

What about the second promise? What benefit do you gain by having other men praise your Father in heaven?

As I was sitting in church listening to the pastor, I pondered this question. And I couldn’t come up with any ideas. So I just “gave it back to God.” I know I don’t understand a lot of things, and maybe this is one that I’ll never understand.

Then something very eerie happened. That very afternoon (and I’m not making this up), I got an email from a customer”

“Love your articles & tech! It makes it so much easier for me to teach others about rocketry! I’ve been in it since 1970 when I was only 8 years old. Many of my customers who are into pro-motor sports, N.H.R.A., motorcycles, snowmobile, atv’s, jet-skis, etc. are now hooked!! Keep up the FANTASTIC WORK!!! YOU ARE A GODSEND!!”

Did you get that? He said — “Godsend.”

As soon as I read that, I knew it was God trying to point me in the direction of the answer to my question. Here was a guy praising my father in heaven. I sensed that God wanted me to continue to think about the question, because it must be a good one.

The answer I came up with was this… When I hear someone saying this type of thing (“you are a Godsend”), it immediately tells me something about the person. Obviously, they are different. And by that, I mean they are “observant.” They are people that have “wisdom,” which implies that they compared me to my competitors, and have found me superior in some way.

So my question is now: what kind of customer do you think this is? Is he worth having? Is he worth investing more time in?

These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself too.

I’m a fan of Brad Sugars. He is an author of probably a dozen books on how to build a business from the ground up. Brad has a saying, which goes something like “fire your C and D customers.” In other words, get rid of (as in terminate) the customers that cause you a lot of headaches and aren’t profitable. I do agree with Brad that it may seem strange to get rid of customers, but in the end, you’ll make more money.

As a business entrepreneur, you want the “best” customers. They are significantly easier to deal with, they spend a lot with your business, they don’t haggle with you over prices or terms, and they pay on time. You want these types of people that bring you a lot of business and that don’t cause you a lot of problems. The gambling casinos call these people “whales.” Do you have whales? They are rare, and you have to sift through a lot of customers to find them. Brad Sugars’ method is to find the whales by culling the dead wood first. Anything left after doing that are probably the whales.

But to be honest, I’ve had to fire very few customers.

Stuck on Stupid

Wisdom Guage

Don't Get Stuck On Stupid

I don’t have customers that are “stuck on stupid” as General Honore phrased in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina when describing people that didn’t want to move forward. I tend to think that God is directing “good” customers to my doorstep.

However, I’m not always as observant as I should be. So I think that what God is saying here is that this is a tool, something like a barometer, with which we can use to gauge what kind of prospects we have in front of us. In this case, it is a loud buzzer going off. It is like it is saying: “Wake up! There is a whale here, there is a whale here!”

I’m sure that God enjoys the praise from others. But the benefit to us is that when we hear something like this, it is God saying to us, “You’ve been fruitful, now I’ll reciprocate. I’m sending people your way that are good customers. Enjoy them.”

Being the Salt of the earth, and the light of the world, is just another way of God saying to us: “Be fruitful.” Sometimes we’re hard of hearing, so he has to say the same message in different ways. Jesus put it in the words of salt and light, but it is still the same message he said way back in the beginning. It is the method of how to make money, God’s way.

Photo Credit. Modified by Tim Van Milligan

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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