In Mark 9:50, Jesus said, “You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves…” Those words have been the basis for countless sermons, but the one thought that always burns in my brain when I read them is this: a little salt is a good thing, but too much is a disaster.
If you’ve ever eaten in a school cafeteria filled with adolescents, you’ve undoubtedly seen this truth played out. Some wise guy unscrews the lid on the salt shaker so that it will fall off if any one uses it. Before long, an unsuspecting victim sits down and starts doctoring his food. When he decides to shake a little salt on his green beans, he ends up dumping the lid and the entire contents of the salt shaker onto his plate. At that point, the Einsteins sitting around the table practically fall off their chairs laughing, and the red-faced victim wonders what he’s going to eat for lunch because now his food is disgusting.
Too much salt doesn’t enhance, it ruins.
Which means we have to be careful.
If we become too rigid or too hard-nosed in our faith…if we come off as being super-spiritual or “holier than thou,” we’ll be about as inviting as a plate of food covered in a shaker full of salt. I’m not saying we should be weak or wishy-washy. Nor am I saying we should be silent. But let’s face it. Christianity can be done in good taste, or not.
Just like music.
I love a nice guitar solo. But when I hear some metal head banging on a distorted guitar that’s so loud the window panes are rattling, I want to cover my ears and run for my life.
Mark this down.
Growing stronger every day does not mean growing louder every day. Or more rigid every day. Or more judgmental every day. Or more confrontational every day.
It means growing more loving and gracious every day.
Love and grace always taste good.
For further reflection read John 13:35, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Galatians 5:22-23.