This is an excerpt from a letter that Sister White wrote to her husband. The Scriptures tell us that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, but we also have the capacity to be channels of darkness if we lose our savour. In this letter you will find wonderful and precious promises to you from God. At the same time, you will find serious warnings about how you think and speak. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he, and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Therefore, if we will be channels of light and not of darkness, on what must our thoughts dwell? Please prayerfully consider these words, beloved. Ask the Lord to reveal the true state of your heart to you as you read.
I had much freedom in speaking to those assembled from this text: “Ye are the salt of the earth”; “Ye are the light of the world”, etc.
The Lord gave me words to speak to the people. How clearly it was impressed upon my mind that it is the privilege of the Christian to connect with the Source of light, and through this living connection become the light of the world. Christ’s true followers will walk in the light as He is in the light and therefore they will not travel in an uncertain way, stumbling because they walk in darkness. The great Teacher is impressing upon His hearers the blessing which they may be to the world, represented as the sun rising in the east in dispelling the mist and shadows of darkness. The dawn gives place to day, the sun, gliding, tinting and then glorifying the heavens with its blaze of light is a symbol of the Christian life. As the light of the sun in light and life and blessing to all that live, so should Christians, by their good works, by their cheerfulness and courage, be the light of the world. As the light of the sun chases away the shades of night and pours its glories on valleys and hills, so will the Christian reflect the Sun of Righteousness which shines on him.
Before the consistent lives of Christ’s true followers, ignorance, superstition, and darkness will pass away, as the sun dispels the gloom of night, in like manner the disciples of Jesus will go into the dark places of the earth, disseminating the light of truth until the pathway of those in darkness shall be illuminated by the light of truth.
In what contrast to this is the life of the professed child of God who is as the salt without the savor. He has no vital connection with God, and like the worthless salt—which Christ describes as being thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men—he has no saving properties. Thus is the life of a professed follower of Christ if he has not a living connection with Jesus Christ. These sunless professors are shadows of darkness. They see nothing to praise God for. They love to dwell in an atmosphere of doubt. If they listen to the truth, they are suffering their minds to watch for something which they think they can start a controversy, and discern some hook upon which to hang their doubts. They go forth from the blessing God has placed within their reach, and in mercy brought to them through His servants, to turn the light given them into darkness. And how great is that darkness!
It is a sin for men thus to abuse the benefits which God sends to those who so much need help and light. In the place of accepting the blessing of God as such, they turn it into a curse by encouraging unbelief, obstinately holding positions of difference as persistently as if the salvation of their souls depended upon their looking upon the dark side, talking their suspicions and doubts, strengthening unbelief, and helping others in the same path of doubts and infidelity. Is it any marvel that such ones are not a light to the world? Can we be surprised that such ones never grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth?
This class are never purified, sanctified through the truth, because truth is not the element they love. The miasma of doubt and unbelief is their favorite element. The angel of God may stand by the side of His messenger and dictate the words he utters, and the very men these words should help will not be helped by them because their own ideas and will and way are chosen before the will and way of God. This class cannot be the light of the world unless they are transformed and shall feel that it is sin, a grievous sin, to let one dark shadow cloud the pathway of others.
All may be channels of light if they will connect with the Source of light. They can communicate the bright rays of light to the world. None need to strengthen unbelief by talking darkness. Every expression of doubt strengthens unbelief. Every thought and word of hope, courage, light, and love strengthens faith and fortifies the soul to withstand the moral darkness that exist in the world. Those who talk faith will have faith, and those who talk discouragements will have discouragements. By beholding we become changed in harmony with the subject of our thoughts and conversation.
— Letter 16, 1880