Last night’s dinner was good old-fashioned beans, taters and cornbread. After the first few bites I thought, these are perfect –just the right amount of crunch on the taters and just the right amount of seasoning in the beans. In fact, that’s the key to great-tasting beans, just the right amount of seasoning. Too little salt and the food will be bland and unappealing; too much salt and it is ruined.
My first pot of beans, which I made as a child, wasn’t all that great. I felt bad enough that they tasted awful, but then my step-father sarcastically asked, “Who stumped their toe in the salt?” If you guessed by context that this is a backwoods expression that means over-salted the food as to render it inedible, you would be right.
I thought of this because shortly after dinner, I shared the following Scripture with someone:
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).
There are at least two places in Scripture where our Christian witness is likened to salt (the other is Matthew 5:14). I believe the same necessity for proper seasoning during cooking applies to sharing the Gospel as well. If we present the Gospel to those who are perishing with too little salt (i.e. love and compassion), what we offer will be very distasteful.
On the other hand, we must not stump our toe in the salt either. Meaning, we should not be so over-zealous that we ‘dump’ too much information on them all at once, thereby overwhelming them so that they cannot comprehend what we are saying, or think that starting on the path of righteousness is just too daunting a task for them to begin.
Dear reader, may we always be faithful to share the Gospel. However, let us do so with careful balance so that we may be a blessing and a benefit to those who will listen, rather than being destructive in our efforts. And, may our speech and conduct always bring glory to our Heavenly Father!
Suggested Reading: A Covenant of Salt by Susan E. Todd