Pass The Salt Shaker, Please!

Salt is used as a seasoning, to add flavor. Salt is used as a curative, to prevent decay or spoiling. And salt was used in the Old Testament as a seal to the covenant, or agreement, between God and man when making a sacrifice. Because salt was so valuable, it showed a real commitment to the agreement. And since Christians are the salt of the earth, they are to work as salt works. They are to season, or add flavor to this world, influencing those around them. They are to prevent decay, by warning against sin. And they are to remain committed to God, just as God is committed to them.

I would like to share with you how I discovered the value of salt in my Christian walk. When I was sixteen, I was beginning to realize that everyone can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I was excited about this and wanted to tell someone about it. The natural person to tell seemed to be our pastor.

But when I talked to our pastor, it became quite evident to me that he did not share my enthusiasm about my growth. Personal testimony and witness did not seem important to him. His focus was on controlling society; change the whole and it will influence the individual. My focus is on witnessing to each person so the Holy Spirit will influence the individual. It was very important to me to reach him somehow, to get my point across about what I believed to be true. But I was never able to convince him. I didn't know what to do. So I prayed about it. And I cried while I prayed.

What does all this have to do with Christians being the salt of the earth? Tears are salty, you know. Sometimes it is necessary to shed a tear or two (or three or four) to show how important something is to us. After all, if we are not willing to put our time and emotions into our prayers, why should we expect God to give us His time and emotions? Jesus cried for the unsaved. And He also cried for the saved, showing His love and concern for them, as well.

I prayed to God to give me the ability and the understanding to somehow break down the barriers that stood in the way of communication. I searched for different approaches or ways to reach others. And I cried as I prayed to God for help. God did hear my cries for help. And He did answer my prayers.

God gave me the ability to communicate His message of hope and love to others. But did God give that gift to me years ago, or did God give that gift to me when I came to our church? I believe that God gave me that gift when I was baptized, when I received the Holy Spirit. Then God created within me the desire to use that gift. But it took me a long time to realize what God had already done for me. Sometimes, we don't have to pray for God to do something for us, or to give us something. Sometimes, we just have to pray to accept what God has already done, or what God has already given us.

Some of the ideas and topics found in these articles are a response to things that are happening now at our church. But the groundwork for much of what I write about was laid years ago when I was searching for clues on how to communicate with my pastor. More precisely, I thought of the questions years ago as a child. But I have been finding the answers now as a man. And I have been sharing the results with you. Thank you for your help and your support along the way.

So, pass the salt shaker, please! And go ahead and cry! If your prayers are bland and lifeless, season them with some salt. Tears of joy never go unnoticed by God. If you are struggling with sin in your life, cure that sin with some salt. Tears of penitence never go unnoticed by God.

And to show your commitment to God's will, seal that commitment with some salt. Tears of sorrow for your unsaved neighbors and friends never go unnoticed by God. But don't just "cry", you also have to "try"! Act on that commitment by inviting people to church or by telling them about Jesus! (Read the Book of Psalms for more heartfelt prayers.)

God always answers our prayers. Sometimes He says, "Yes." Sometimes He says, "No." Sometimes He says, "Later." And sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear. So I cannot promise that if you start crying, God will answer your prayers the way that you want. We cannot manipulate God.

What is important enough to you that you would cry about it? Don't worry what someone might think if he finds out you were crying. In fact, invite him over to your house to pray together. And have a good cry together. You may find a friendship that will last forever. And you may find a friend who will stick closer than a brother.

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