Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Let Jesus be the rice in your salt shaker!
"Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God's emmissaries for keeping order. It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government." 1 Peter 2:13-17 The Message Translation
So yesterday I talked about being a "salt shaker," sprinkling "God flavor" on everyone I meet and every where I go. This doesn't always happen...there are times that I let circumstances change my mood and my personality so much it "clogs up" my salt shaker. I am so upset, worried, bitter or unhappy that I can't seem to add much "God flavor" to anything around me. God is still inside of me, I believe that, and I hold on to my beliefs and the hope of heaven. BUT, whatever happened to make me so unhappy blocks my ability to share God's love with others. My salt shaker is useless.
My grandmother used to put a few grains of dried rice in her salt shakers. I had forgotten about that until this morning. She said she did that to keep moisture from clogging up the holes of the salt shaker. The rice would absorb more moisture than the salt, keeping the salt drier and making it easier to get out of the shaker. She also said that if the salt did start to clump up in the shaker, the hard grains of rice would knock the lumps together and break them up so they could come out of the holes better.
Perhaps some of us Christians need something to "break up the lumps" in our salt and absorb the unhappiness and hate that tends to build in us toward people who don't fit into our idea of the perfect Christians. It's much easier to sprinkle salt on people we like, isn't it? People who think or act differently tend to clog up our salt shakers quickly. People of a different political party, people of different religions, people of different sexual orientations, people with tattoos or piercings, people who like to drink beer, people who...the list could go on and on. If they are different, we fear them and what they can do to "our way of life." That fear leads to hate in many cases. Do you doubt me that Christians can be hateful? Just look at some of your Facebook postings from Christians blasting the government or gays or Muslims. Not very "salty!"
If we want people to see and taste the flavor of God, we have to be where they are...we have to respect them and their beliefs, even if we don't agree with them. We have to live as Jesus did and love EVERYONE! Read the Gospels and study how Jesus lived...let his actions be the rice in your salt! If we are to "make disciples of all nations," how are we to do that when we only associate with people who are just like us and already believe? We think they are ignorant of God's ways and will, and while that is true, it is us who are ignorant of the loving, forgiving and accepting ways of Jesus that began the Christian revolution. I was once an outcast who wasn't living a righteous life...where would I have been if there weren't loving Christians who met me where I was and lovingly accepted me?