You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.Matthew 5:13
I haven’t written much lately. It seemed wise to have a short break during this turbulent time in our nation. It’s heartbreaking to witness. I didn’t know which words to choose that would make any difference to anybody. But now I feel it’s time to say what’s been on my heart.
Over the last few weeks, there has risen a climate of upheaval on many fronts. I have witnessed pushing and shoving from my Christian friends. They have opinions, and videos to back them up. Policies and politics are at the center with much arguing as well as belittling. There is a very clear ‘us and them’ divide.
It’s alarming. And each time, we Christians jump into the fray, we make a few more enemies. We look a little more ridiculous to the world around us, and we lose our ability to do good in a time that very much needs some goodness.
I am worried Christians, in general, are losing their influence in the world. I fear that we are throwing away a time a great opportunity to let love shine by pursuing things, people, and agendas that do not promote the message of Jesus. We are his spokespersons, and we seem lackadaisical about our mission. We have taken up the torch for a variety of issues, leaving the message of love out of the picture. “Truth” is our goal. And even when we do speak of love, we apply conditions to it, none of which God intended but made us feel more noble.
I can’t even tell you how many times I have brought up the subject of loving one’s neighbor in regards to mask-wearing, the underserved black community, LGBTQ, immigration, the homeless, etc. only to be pushed back with a list of reasons why love could not be applied. It’s the same old if they would just do blah, blah, blah, then their life would be better. The blah, blah, blah was usually a list of things those people needed to get cleaned up before they deserve our care. Folks, this is not the kind of love Jesus teaches. We are doing much harm by blocking access to God with our pious attitudes. It has to stop. We have become Pharisees in the story, always looking to find fault.
Jesus said that his disciples would be known by the love that they had for one another. He said that his friends would be the ones who kept his command to love each other as he had loved them. He said that we should love our neighbors just as we love God, and he also added we must love our enemies. Jesus showed us over and over what that kind of love looked like while he lived on earth. We have the stories of his encounters with people and the way he loved them written down in plain language for us to see. Why, when we have the standard right before our eyes, have we missed the mark?
How Can We Be Made Salty Again?
Things need to change. We need to refocus our passion for what Jesus was passionate about—loving people right where they are. Please, please, please represent God in the right light. Don’t make him unapproachable to those who need his love. Help people find God by treating them as he would. We are here to love the world warts and all, the same way Jesus loved us.
Before Jesus left this earth, he said this—
“I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.”John 14:12
The world is begging for those “greater things” to happen. We have what it takes to deliver. Please return to the way of Jesus. No greater love than this, to lay one’s life down for another. Leave your agendas behind. Follow Jesus into God’s mission to love the world.
It will be people with the greatest love, not the most information, who will influence us to change.Bob Goff
Where Is It in the Bible?
I challenge each of you to take a more in-depth look into the Scriptures. I have linked each passage with the book and chapter it is found in so that you can see it in context. Please read, write them out, dig deep into their meaning, ponder them, and make them yours. Knowing God’s word will not only change you, but it will also change the world.
- By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35
- My commandment is this: Love one another as I have loved you. . .You are my friends if you do what I command. John 15:12, 14
- Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. this is the first and greatest commandment. and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
- You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43-44
- Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8