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How To Be Flavorful For Jesus

Posted by: Kim Stiver

Rooted: Why and How Should I Tell Others

Focus Verse: Matthew 5:13-14, 16 “Your lives are like salt among the people. But if you, like salt, become bland, how can your ‘saltiness’ be restored? Flavorless salt is good for nothing and will be thrown out and trampled on by others. Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.”

There are some foods that just don’t taste good to me without salt. Take eggs, for example, I think I would consider forgoing them entirely if I had to eat them without a little salt and pepper. And popcorn without salt? Forget it. Just as salt makes bland recipes more palatable, allowing the Holy Spirit to season our speech, attitudes, and actions make us more effective for the Kingdom and more loving toward each other. Jesus encouraged His followers to be like salt in several of the Gospels, but I particularly like the way Mark put it: “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mark 9:50b) Ever the master of brevity, Mark’s wording implies both a state of being and a command requiring action. This duality echoes the longer version of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?” Both of the passages make it clear: if you truly believe in Jesus you will be different. You will stand out. But in order to make a difference… in order to be valuable for Kingdom work, you must take action and practice the art of being salt, or flavoring, in a world desperately wanting to taste real nourishment and find soul-satisfying truth.
But how does that play in out in real life? How does our satisfaction with Jesus help other people? How can our daily yielding to the Holy Spirit be experienced by others? I am sure there are more, but the Holy Spirit reminds me frequently of these four flavor-enhancing examples.  
  • Season our speech with grace to bring out the best in others through conversation. Colossians 4:5-7 says, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” When we engage others with an extra measure of grace, listen more than we speak, and show genuine interest in their lives, we give the Holy Spirit more time and space to work in our relationships. Every interaction is an opportunity to help someone else draw one step closer to God.
  • Stand out in a spiritually flavorless and malnourished world. Ephesians 5:8-9 says, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true).” John Piper said, “To be the salt of the earth and the light of the world means that at root Christians are so profoundly satisfied by Christ as our eternal reward, we are freed from fear and greed for the sacrifices of love, and are able to rejoice at persecution. When the world sees this, they see the glory of Christ and taste the satisfying pleasure of who He is.”
  • Sprinkle alluring bits of joy on parched hearts. John 15:11 says, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Another translation says that our joy in Christ will be like “a river overflowing its banks.” In my personal experience, real, infectious joy isn’t possible until I’ve learned to trust God. Once I completely trust God in a specific area, then I am positioned to receive His peace over it. With peace in our hearts, I am less stressed and worried, opening the door for joy to supernaturally bubble up in any situation. When others experience this entirely other-worldly joy, they will want to experience it for themselves.
  • Be a tasty reflection of what’s to come. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Living in a world that bombards us daily with scary news, crazy weather events, and unfair tragedies are enough to make even the most positive individual fearful, depressed, and frustrated. When we live as though this world is not our home, people want to know why. And when they catch a glimpse of what heaven-minded living looks like, they are amazed. C.S. Lewis said, “The Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”
Like with any other flavoring, there is always the risk of over-salting a recipe and rendering any food inedible. But the secret to a great outcome every time is allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your attitude, words, and actions. Even though we are far from perfect, Jesus makes up for our weaknesses, lack of skill, low appeal, and mistakes in the kitchen of life. Regardless of our inexperience or lack of creativity, if we stay faithful to the recipe He’s set forth in the Word, then Romans 8:28 assures us that He works everything together for the good. John Stott, the great theologian, once said, “The truth is powerful when it’s argued, but it’s more powerful when it’s exhibited.” When we get up each day willing to be a simple vessel in which the Holy Spirit can deposit flavorful truth and joyful refreshment, everyone we encounter will see Jesus on display. And that vision is far more appetizing than anything we can dish up on our own.

Scripture Meditations for this week: