1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Jesus sounds like a good parent telling His son or daughter—“You’ve got so much potential. I’m so proud of you. But be careful, if you don’t use your gifts, you’ll be slapping God in the face.”
The famous saying can be applied, “Use it or lose it.” Countless folks do not realize their potential, mostly because of fear. Fear is the greatest crippling factor in our world. The entire universe is in motion. Fear stops the motion, can stop a heart, can stop a relationship. Interestingly Jesus used the metaphor of salt—something that we now take for granted. However, salt was a necessary life-source—used for preservation, purification, taste. Sodium, found in salt, is essential for our bodies. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” As His followers, as Christians, we are supposed to be the spark, the catalyst, the example for others. We are responsible for sustaining “true” life based on service. That’s the example that Our Lord gave us. He did not come to be served, but to serve. Far removed is the Christian mentality in people who think themselves superior to others, or entitled because of their last name, education, or wealth. Like salt we are called to be healers in a community wounded by violence. Just look around. The headlines are filled with killings, robberies, sexual abuse. Healing can start with one kind word, especially in our home. One act of kindness cancels a multitude of sins. Notice how many of our conversations turn into gossip sessions. We tend to focus on the negative rather than celebrate the gifts people have. Jesus believes in us. He is convinced that we can influence one another in a positive way, otherwise He would never have referred to us as “the salt of the earth”. We are holding the key that can bring out the good in people or the worst in people—that’s when salt loses its taste. Then it is good for nothing. And if we tell folks, especially children, that they are good for nothing—they can be damaged for life.
We are relational beings. That’s the way God made us. No one is self-sufficient. We rely upon each other—from infancy to adulthood. Never can we claim that we don’t need anyone. Our words have power—we can bless, or we can curse. When we bless—when we say good things about someone, we are spreading light. Usually a person will “light up” when they hear positive things mentioned about them. The opposite is also true. When negativity is mentioned, a person just wants to crawl under a bushel basket—they want to hide. Even when the comments are true—they don’t build the Kingdom.
We have choices every day. Every day is born without mistakes. No sense looking in the rearview mirror and dwelling on the past. The past can never be undone. We can learn from our mistakes and try not to repeat them. Yet, we will inevitably continue to sin. However, if God does not give up hope in us, why should we? Why would we remain pessimistic about ourselves as long as we have life in our bodies? The world is starving for truth—people willing to give witness by their actions. Preachers with a “feel good” message have gained a lot of popularity, but sooner or later, their light fades. The ones who are willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel are few. The message of Jesus is not a success story, but of dying for others. In our vocabulary, life does not have an opposite. Death is just a transition. Death is the gateway to freedom. Once we are convinced of our victory over death, we become invincible—we become the salt of the earth—the light that shines in the darkness. Means we have to allow the unconditional love of God to penetrate our soul—in fact—get out of the way of the Holy Spirit. We can consciously avoid negativity—in social media, TV, what we read. We can be the change that we want to see. Almost anyone can point to the bad—takes a real follower of Christ to discover goodness where it is not apparent. The Lord has given us everything we need to be His heralds of hope.
The world is the one we have made—for better and for what needs to change. God does not lose faith in us; we need to have faith in Him and in each other.