Nov 10, 2016

Christians, Where Is Our Salt? Part 1

This 3-part blog post is addressed to Christians, followers of Jesus.
As I read people’s Facebook posts and comments about the election, I was surprised and heartbroken at how Christians spoke out about and put down other Christians. I was also amazed at some of the viewpoints expressed in the posts.

One morning I was reading in Mark 9, not sure why I ended up there, but as I read God spoke to me. I’ve been pondering the last verse and the verses that came before it and how they’re related to unity among Christians.

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other. (Mark 9:50, NIV)
So being salty – salt and light to the world – is related to being at peace with each other. The footnote in my NIV Study Bible says the following, under the heading “Christian Ethics, Character”:

Salt is marked by its ability to flavor with only a little of its presence. Adding zest to an otherwise dull meal, it was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. It even was used as money. Christians should give the world the gospel flavor.

Salt is valuable. As Christians we are to be salty – not just for ourselves, but for others so they can see and know Jesus and be saved (the Gospel).
How can we be salty and “give the world the gospel flavor” when it’s nowhere to be seen in our social media life? We write angry words, we unfriend, we judge others who don’t agree with us. We act way out of character with who we are in Christ.
And most of our ranting is done toward or about other Christians.
Mark 9:50 follows three sections about how believers are to be toward each other.
The disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, and Jesus caught them. He said that to be first you need to be last. Then He says that in welcoming little children you welcome God (the one who sent Jesus).
The disciples were complaining to Jesus about a man who was “not one of them” driving out demons. Jesus response? “Do not stop him, if he’s not against us he’s for us.” In other words, he’s on the same side, don’t criticize what he’s doing. Sound familiar?
If anyone causes a little child who believes in Jesus to sin, better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around their neck. If any part of you is causing you to sin, cut it off. Better to enter the Kingdom of God maimed than to be thrown into hell.
When I read all those together, Jesus is talking about how we treat those who believe in Him, whether or not we understand them. We are to serve them, accept them, and do our best not to lead them into sin. Jesus is not talking about unbelievers here, but about believers who are seeking Him and desiring to follow Him. In verse 50, Jesus says we are to do this from a position of first being salty ourselves, and by being at peace with each other.
He relates saltiness to unity among believers.
How do we remain salty? How do we keep from losing our salt?
Stay tuned for Part 2, coming tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. Powerful words. I'm looking forward to the next two posts.


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