Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Be Salty

“Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
Matthew 5:13 (The Message)

I attended college at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. At the beginning of my Junior year, I was excited to move to a new dorm only available to upperclassmen. The layout of the rooms was such that the bathrooms were shared by four people in two rooms parallel to each other. Because of the set up, the four of us remained in close proximity of each other.

At this time, I was a new believer zealous to serve the Lord. One of my suitemates decided to decorate his room with pornography. This startled me. I asked as politely as I could for him to remove the obscene pictures. I told him that, as a Christian, these images were a temptation to me. My friend became upset. The next day I noticed that he covered the pictures with a sheet of paper that could be flipped up to reveal a naked girl.

I nervously approached him a second time and asked him to still take the pictures down; he refused. Later his roommate began reading the Satanic Bible out of curiosity. I tried to warn him of the dangers of reading such a book. But he and his roommate ridiculed me unendingly, and I eventually left that dorm building for a room in a different complex.

What was I doing in this college setting? I was being salt – attempting to season my surroundings with the preservative of godly influence. I realized that I needed to enforce some healthy boundaries. I could not honor the Lord with pornography in my field of vision. I had to speak up. We are not called to point out all the sin in others, especially to nonbelievers, but there are times when it's appropriate to speak the truth in love. This is what I attempted to do. Unfortunately, I was persecuted for my attempts to help my friends. But God gave me a new dorm room and I made new friends. This was the best thing that could have happened to me.

There are times when we must speak up. We must be willing to stand against the crowd and do what is right. God will give us the spiritual backbone to honor Him. If we don't, we will lose our saltiness and become ineffective as witnesses for Christ. If I didn't speak up in this situation, I would have begun to take on the attributes of the world. My life would have become compromised and sullied with worldly living.

Let's not bow down to the world, instead let's endeavor to reach them, while remaining pure and holy before God. While we extend our hands in compassion to reach the lost, let's choose to be salty.

Dear Jesus,

I submit to Your Lordship. I choose to honor You by living upright. Show me when I must speak the truth in love. Help me not to compromise. Instead, use me to bring your saltiness to a world that needs to taste and see that the Lord is good. In Your name I pray, Amen.

© Copyright 2010 by Tom Toya. All rights reserved.

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