Tag Archives: salt

feeling salty

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There’s an expression I’ve become rather fond of in recent days. If someone is being sassy or giving attitude or extra confrontational it is referred to as being “salty”. And perhaps this isn’t really a new expression…in fact it might be rather old, but I love how quickly a word or phrase becomes en vogue and we begin to use it frequently as part of the common vernacular. Even as recently as a couple of weeks ago I was in the school office and some of the other teachers asked me if I knew what being salty meant and I quickly attempted to show them the best version of sass that this 6’3″ straight-laced white male could muster on the fly. I’m not sure they got what I was going for, but it maybe communicated my understanding of what being salty meant.

Here’s where a little bit of wordplay can be fun. You might say, isn’t being salty a good quality? After all, “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet.” – Matthew 5:13 I’m not sure Jesus was thinking about the disciples being confrontational with each other and throwing shade about every little thing. In fact, a few of the times we see Jesus chastising the disciples is when they’re arguing over who the greatest is…in other words, getting salty over who’s better. Now I know we never struggle with this kind of saltiness in the church. We never get in petty arguments over getting our way or having things done the way we want them or the way they’ve always been. It reminds me of my one Nazarene joke. How many Nazarene’s does it take to change a light bulb? “Hey you can’t change that light bulb, my grandpa put that in”. Even our jokes are a little salty.

Truth be told, I’m just not that salty at all. In fact, I don’t think this is the kind of salt Jesus had in mind at all. I believe he was thinking about salt that brings good flavor to the world. I believe he was thinking about the salt that preserves and brings life to the world around it. When it comes to the current definition of salty, I just don’t feel like I ever need to find myself there. In the closing of his letter to the church at Rome, we read these words from Paul. “Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good. If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people.” – Romans 12:16-18 These words of Paul have always been a way that I’ve attempted to live my life by. I don’t want to operate out of saltiness. My way, my opinion, my preference, my comfort, my…fill in the blank just isn’t that important. In fact the only thing that is important is my effort to live at peace. So maybe it’s time to lose the saltiness and actually become salt. I think we all could use it.

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get wise

Hi. My name is Andrew and I am a recovering know-it-all. I’d like to think I have been in recovery all my life, but sometimes I am not sure. For a while during my teen years I was sure that my mom meant this as a term of endearment I heard it so much. But somewhere along the line I learned that being a know-it-all was not quite the same as having wisdom. I guess I had always thought that there was value to being the smartest guy in the room and so I sought out knowledge at a voracious rate. There was even a time in my pre-teen years where I read encyclopedias for the fun of it (this was before the internet folks). But as I matured, I came to see that knowledge in and of itself could be used more as a weapon than as a tool. I learned that sometimes being right came at the expense of someone else being wronged.

I came across a quote last night that struck me in a new way. One of our church’s district superintendents was quoting one of our general superintendents and posted this, “We (Christians) are notorious for making a point, but not a difference. (Borrowed from Dr. David Busic)”. Ouch. But how often has this been true? We have the moral knowledge and capabilities of defending our point only for that to be the only substance that there is. In his letter to the church at Colosse, the apostle Paul had this to say in regards to our message. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:5-6 I wonder if our conversations with those outside the church are characterized by grace. I wonder if we are truly making the most of every opportunity our just trying to be right.

The one thing that a recovering know-it-all has to do above all else is listen. This is a hard skill for someone who already has the answers. But one thing I have found in the midst of listening to people is that sometimes I actually don’t have all the answers. Sometimes I have to extend grace to someone because I have never experienced what they have experienced. Sometimes making the most of every opportunity doesn’t mean that I rush in with some Divine appointed answer, but that I am willing to enter into relationship with them to someone show them the way God would treat them. The illustration of salt in regards to these opportunities is key as well. What if our conversations were dynamic, flavorful, interesteing, captivating and full of grace? Do you think then that perhaps we might be better known for making a difference than a point? I for one would rather be known for these opportunities that go unwasted than for one who simply is a know-it-all.


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