Paul’s experience of conversion can be seen to color all his writings. He knows that conversion is a decisive grace in the life of the believer and this is what he is saying to the Corinthians. He wants them to be under no illusion concerning the nature of their ‘yes’ to follow the Lord. If they want to follow Jesus then, by all means do so, but they should not change their minds later on! Make the decision to be a Christian and stick to it no matter what the consequences may be.

It is only with this sort of decisiveness that we are really able to grow properly under the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit can work wonders if there has been a decisive conversion in a person’s life. If there is a constant vacillating between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ then it is a hopeless task to try and disciple a person. It is much better to wait until they are ready and willing to make up their minds and then follow through with their decision.

In the Gospel today this decisiveness is portrayed in the form of salt and light. Salt, if it is any good, has a taste that will permeate the whole dish; light makes its ways into every nook and cranny of the room in which it is lit. So too with the a firm commitment to follow Jesus – there will be nothing held back from Him; no door kept closed to His Spirit in the process of discipleship that all of us must undergo. Just as salt is thrown away if it becomes tasteless and a light is put out into the open when lit, so too our decision to follow Jesus is useless if we keep losing our commitment to it.

It is as though Paul is saying to the Corinthians, “Please do not waste my time and yours. If you want to follow Jesus then go ahead and do that, I will be happy to help you. If you do not, well, that is a pity from my point of view but thank you for not wasting my time and yours by messing around indecisively with this call I am putting before you today.” And this is the truth! There is very little more frustrating to one who disciples others than someone who is not really committed to the whole process. I myself would rather work with one committed person than a dozen who are not committed to discipleship. Yes, we need to be willing to evangelize people to the point where they can make such a commitment but this is not yet discipleship – it is evangelization.

Where am I in my Christian walk? Am I still at the stage of being evangelized or have I moved into a relationship of discipleship with someone?

Holy Spirit, work in my life to deepen the conversion experience that I have had. Help me to go deeper each day with you and grow in my obedience to God’s will and my willingness to embrace the fullness of all that God is asking me to do.