13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:13-16, NIV
My pastor has been teaching a series in Wednesday night Bible study entitled “Practical Holiness.” Let me tell you, it has been intense! He has challenged us to take a hard look at our Christian walk and ask ourselves, “Do I look different from the world?” “Does my life reflect God’s sanctifying power at work?” “Would people be able to pick me out of a crowd as being a Christ-follower?”
I’ve been reminded of the verses above from Matthew 5, and I thought about cooking in my kitchen. I have a shelf full of spices. How do I know which is which? The containers are labeled, and are different shapes and sizes. The spices themselves have different appearances and distinctive aromas. It’s fairly easy for me to grab the spice I need, add it to the dish I am preparing, and place it back in the cabinet until I need it again.
But what would my cooking be like if all of my spice containers looked the same? What if the spices themselves all looked similar to one another, and their scent had faded to the point that it was hard to distinguish one from another? I would be forced to guess at which spice I should add to my recipe. And if I chose the wrong spice? Culinary disaster, my friends!
Well, as Christians, we are called to be the “salt of the earth.” We are supposed to offer the love of God to hurting, desperate people around us, so that they may be preserved for Heaven and their lives can be flavored with God’s mercy and grace. So often, though, we blend in with the culture around us. We compromise our values to fit in with our friends, or because it’s easier, or because we feel there’s nothing we can do to change our world for Christ’s kingdom.
HOW IS A NEEDY PERSON ABLE TO RECOGNIZE MY GOD-SPICE (WHAT GOD HAS TO OFFER THROUGH ME) IF MY LIFE LOOKS, SMELLS, AND TASTES LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD?
We can only reach the unsaved people in our lives if we show that we have real hope and a real difference to offer to them. They don’t want the same old, same old. So if we use the same rough language as they do… if we have the same angry attitude… if we participate in the same immoral activities… do we stand out at all? Are we “spicy?”
FOR MY LIFE – THE SPICIER, THE BETTER. This is my prayer.