Bilbo Baggins is something of a hero, if you know anything of Lords of the Rings. And there is a line he utters which is wonderfully descriptive!
He mentions about how tired he has become, and he likens his tiredness to ‘butter spread over too much bread’. To be fair to Bilbo, he had long gone past his natural oldest age, but that description paints a great picture of how life can, sometimes, feel.
The bible tells us that, as Christians, we should stand out – like salt does in a meal. It describes how when salt loses it’s saltiness it is useless and is only good for throwing out and being trampled upon. This isn’t good if you think that, as Christians, we’re supposed to live quiet lives that never offend anyone. Actually, if everyone you know is happy with you, you’re probably getting it wrong by not living a faithful enough life! And the whole heart behind living a godly life is that we will be offensive to those we meet, because of the Jesus in us. It is the truth which is offensive - not our loving Heavenly Father, who is unable to offensive in His nature, except to those that do not wish to hear His loving message!
This does not mean, however, that we can go around - like a meal with far too much salt - and being unhelpfully abrasive to the people we meet. We are supposed to live peaceable lives. But this, perhaps, is where there has been a terrible misunderstanding on what the life of a Jesus loving Christian should be like.
As we look around the world, at some terrible atrocities, wars, famine, drought and controlling governments and industry, it’s very easy to understand the reason why this is so as a Christian: As Andy Hawthorn of the Message Trust once stated, ‘when you take Jesus out of society, everything starts shaking’. And it is that shaking we are seeing as people pursue lives that are diametrically opposed to God’s best for each one of us.
A good meal is balanced by salt.
A healthy society is balanced by Jesus Christ and Christians actively living out their faith, boldly, and unashamedly.
So, let’s not be overly salty people who offend before people before they even meet us.
Yes, let us live peaceable lives so people can’t point at the many failings in our lives, but at the hope and joy and peace that pours out of our very pores. But, let’s balance that by not living such tiny lives that nobody ever notices we actually have a passionate love for our Saviour - Jesus Christ.
The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is one that not a single one of us truly wanted to hear or accept - until we had surrendered to the love that Jesus Christ has for us. But let’s make sure that the people we meet are not offended by us, unnecessarily!
Just a thought…
So another Andy B 2 Minute Video.
I was thinking earlier because one of my sons had dropped some salt over the dining room table. And as it was spread across, we had a Family Focus, where one of us leads us all in a little bit of a focus on the Bible, and what God might be saying. I looked at the salt and, unsurprisingly, our son decided to use salt as a hook for his Family Focus and there was salt everywhere.
I don't really know if you are much up on the Lord of the Rings, but there's a wonderful quote by Bilbo Baggins and he's talking about how tired he is. He's exceeded how old he should be. And he's, he's really tired. And he says, it's like, it's like butter spread over too much bread, which is a brilliant picture of what the tiredness might have been like for Bilbo Baggins.
But I got thinking about salt and, and how sometimes we well, the salt goes, like, salty, and then it stops being salty, and how does it stop being salty? And I was thinking about abrasive Christians, for one example. Have you ever met an abrasive Christian? It's too much salt. It's like, could you just tone it down, just a little bit, a bit less salt would be good, 'cos everyone around them is really offended. And it's not actually a good thing! So we can have too much salt.
But as Christians, we're supposed to be like salt. We're supposed to flavour the atmosphere around us. What we're not supposed to do is blend in. If you put too many herbs and whatever into a meal, you end up losing the flavour of any of the herbs, and you get this bland, mishmash, of nothing. And if we're not careful, as Christians, we can, we can do that too. We can be into so many things are trying to be so many people, that we end up not tasting of anything. But we're supposed to be salty. We're supposed to be standing out, in order that the Jesus in us can be experienced by others. And I think one of the reasons why perhaps we get a bit nervous about that is, well, people don't like Jesus. And they don't like us with too much Jesus. And we don't want to be too salty, but, but we're supposed to be standing out, and we're supposed to be flavoured. People are supposed to know that you're a Christian.
So, do people know that you're a Christian in your workplace? You haven't got to be so salty as to be abrasive! But people should know by the way you are, by the peace, by the hope, by the joy, by going the extra mile, by not trying to make yourself look better than everybody else, and, and working for the boss, because that's what God commands us to do.
Just a thought.
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Written by Andy B