We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves Romans 15 verse 1
What comes to mind when you think of salt? Do you add it to your cooking, because vegetables never taste the same without it? Is it for special occasions, like only on chips, steaming hot from the fish shop, or do you hate it and never use it? We’re warned against eating too much of by health professionals fearing we’ll all die of heart disease, and manufacturers are berated from time to time for adding too much of it to their food too.
As Christians, we don’t have a choice whether we like salt or not, we have to be salt. I’ve been thinking about this recently, and especially what it means for my online presence – this blog for one, twitter, Facebook, and on Big bible where I am a #digifisciple. You can read my recent thoughts on it here. I have also been influenced by the thoughts of Richard Littledale on what it means to be ‘salt’ online.
This morning I was listening to Prayer and Praise on UCB. I don’t always rate the daily devotional kind of preaching slot they have in the middle. It been old-fashioned styleof ‘preaching at’ people from a good few years ago. However, this morning I sat up and took notice — and notes, as he was talking about 2 things that interested me, firstly Strength in Weakness, and secondly, salt; The verse he quoted was the one at the top of the post, from Romans 15. He said something really interesting, that this verse “is the true sign of strength in a Christian”. God has a different view of strength to that of the world. It is not about ‘what’ you can do, but about “how much you can bear”. My ears pricked up at this, because I thought, perhaps that’;s something I can do. It’s certainly something my Dad has talked to me about in the past. Mr Prince then went on to say how the 1st Century Christians gained the respect of those around them because of the way they cared for their weaker members, instead of being ‘out for what they could get as the modern world often is, and leaving the weak to fend for themselves. That they measure what is right by what suits them. writing the weak off, and leaving them to die is weakness. I have to say, that sounds very much like what the current government is doing. Anyway, back to Mr Prince.
He said that weak believers don’t have a lot of spiritual strength, and that’s when they need the strong believers who have lots of spiritual strength. Our first motive is to please Jesus, not to do as much as we can legally get away with. He went on to talk about the Holocaust, that Hitler started small, picking off a few of the weaker members, and continued on from there. He alleges this is what is happening in the modern times, that the weak are being picked off a few at a time. He says however, that this is like the wind… which gets worse and worse, until it becomes a whirlwind, and what then. There’s no way of stopping a whirlwind, and we are left with an awful mess. So… how do we stop the rot?
with Salt, which has three purposes (see Matthew 5v13)
1.Salt is a preservative, so as Christians, we can be the preservative which bolsters others and keeps them from being weak. Our influence holds back corruption.
2. Salt can purify and cleanse. so when we are salt we can stand up for the weak and stand up to those who would seek to mis-treat them
3. Salt makes things tasty. We render our society acceptable to God by our presence. We are little grains scattered around our society. Strength that heals, prays and holds up the weak.
Guess it’s time to get more pro-active with my prayer life! I recently read about someone in the Word for Today called who had MS. She is confined to bed, but everyday prays for each of people who’s names are tacked the pin-board on the wall opposite the bed. In this way, she reaches the four corners of the earth, from her bed! The treasures she is storing up for herself in Heaven. Diane had the courage to ‘stand in the gap’ for those who are weak (Ezekiel 22:30 NKJV) — DO YOU?