Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That was a little too Salty.....

A while back I visited the Salt Mine church in Charlotte, NC.  Pastor Steve Wright preached on being Salt to the world.  Obviously, he has studied up on this since his church's name is The Salt Mine!  This message has stuck with me and I've recently been in discussion with someone online about the ways and methods of sharing Christ with others.  You can read about my last big discussion with this person here and here

Every person in this world is different.  Because of this fact, people have different ways and methods of doing things.  One person may have a sweet and gentle spirit, may never "get loud", or might be quiet and not say a lot.  Another person might be "gruff", abrasive, and sometimes to the sweet gentle person, seem a little rude!  Both of these personalities, in the purest sense, do not intend on being taken in a negative way.  This is just human nature, we are all different! 

When it comes to sharing Jesus Christ with others, I think we have to have both of these.  The word says that we have to be SALT and LIGHT to the world.  Salt is a wonderful thing, and I think this is the perfect example to show us how to live our lives for Christ.  With salt you can enhance the flavors of so many things.  You can preserve foods, it melts ice, kills nasty slimy snails, can reduce swelling on injured parts of the body, helps make good homemade ice cream, and it can be used as an abrasive cleaner.  There are so many more uses for it, but these are my examples today.  All these things can be done with the right AMOUNT of salt.  Too much salt and your food is ruined, not enough and its still so bland you cant even taste it!  We have to have to give the right amount of Christ to this world.  If we dont give enough, how will they even know we are his followers?  How can they tell we are even in this mix with them?  How can they taste the good flavors of Christ?  Yet on the other hand, if we are too salty and we give too much of Christ we will be overbearing.  Green beans with too much salt are NASTY... but green beans with the right amount are heavenly!  We cannot be effective if we go around dumping our salt on people!  It just does not taste right to them, and we should be ashamed that we gave away such a bad meal! 

I have heard it over and over... "if you just tell them that He loves them just the way they are then they will not realize they need to change."  First of is not our job to change them.  We are called to share the LOVE of Christ first.  When someone realizes they are loved, undeserving of that love, they WANT to change for the person who loves them.  They want to learn more about this person, they want to get to know him. And in getting to know him, HE will reveal the changes that need to be made. Yes some abuse his love and grace, but for too long we have left the love he has for ALL man out of the message!  Second, if the gospel is shared in TRUTH... it will "clean with a gentle abrasiveness."  Just like salt, when the word and love of God is shown to someone, it can begin to gently clean away the dirt and grime that is in there lives.  Now keep in mind, salt is not a liquid acid where you just pour it on and it immediate disintegrates every stain.  But it is a cleaner that needs to be gently rubbed in, careful not to scratch the surface of what your cleaning!  It may take several cleaning sessions to make it pure and clean again, but if you put a little elbow grease in it, it will shine like new.  The bible says that we are the BODY of Christ.  Some are the head, some are the tail, some are the arms, some are the fingers, some are the heart.  In the same since, some reap, some water, some sow.  Not everyone is called to reap the harvest!  Just the same, not everyone is called to sow the seed.  We cannot judge ministers by their position in the body.  Some share the love of Christ, some disciple, some ministers heal hearts, some are more abrasive and God uses them to clean!  None of them are wrong, but we all have to have a little bit of it all.  To the one who cleans, clean with love.  To the one who loves, love but also share the freeing power of the truth of the word!

What is your seasoning?  Can the world around you tell that you are a salt shaker?  Or do they think you are the pile of salt poured out on the sidewalk over the shriveled up snail?  (perfect example of too much salt!)  How are the quality of the meals your feeding others around you?  Do others want to eat your food or do you always have a lot of leftovers?  If so, you might need to measure your salt!