There are two trends I’ve noticed recently when browsing social media that are getting a lot of attention: Pressure Cooking and Bullet Journaling. Mind you, I’m a female, forty-something, so what’s trending on my newsfeed might be different than what’s trending on yours. Pressure cooking and bullet journaling clearly have nothing to do with each other, but being the “trendy” girl I like to think I am, I felt I needed to look into one of these hobbies. I decided on pressure-cooking. Here’s the deal, I just learned how to organize my life on my i-phone. To get out pens and stickers and notebooks and start writing things on paper seems like a step back for me.
So the pressure-cooker it is.
I ordered it, received it, assembled it, read the cookbook that came with it, tried cooking a pot roast, threw out the pot roast, ordered pizza, and cursed that pot right off the counter and into a cabinet where it has sat for eight months. It sits in this dark, appliance graveyard of sorts. Let’s face it, I’ve made some poor decisions when it comes to buying cooking gadgets, but I can’t seem to part with any of them yet.
Then last week, after reading a friend’s post about the delicious pressure-cooked meals she was turning out, I thought it was time to face the monster tucked in the far corner of the Gadget Graveyard. Surprise! I successfully made Mexican shredded chicken for burrito bowls. Oh my goodness, delicious they were, and they only took 15 minutes to cook. Then I tried my hand at beef stroganoff. Success in 35 minutes! I couldn’t have been more pleased. I’m so glad my pressure cooker has been resurrected. The options are endless.
As I’ve been researching, YouTube-ing, and pinning all things pressure cooker, I’ve noticed something in many of the recipes. “Salt and pepper to taste,” or “season to taste.” I’ve been cooking for a number of years now. I get what it means to season something to taste. Season it to my taste, right? And maybe the three others I cook for regularly. But if I were to cook for you, well who knows? You might like things a little blander, a little saltier, or maybe off-the-charts-spicy.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6”
It’s absolutely no accident that this was the scripture our pastor spoke about on Sunday. I will admit my thoughts may have drifted during his message to my pressure cooker, sitting on the counter at home, awaiting our next adventure together, but that scripture stopped me dead in my thought track.
Let your speech ALWAYS be gracious, SEASONED with salt. Paul was teaching a group of Christians in the early church. In these verses he’s giving instructions on how to live, specifically with outsiders. “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders.” (vs.5) Outsiders are those not yet walking with the Lord. “Let your speech always be gracious.” Okay, hold on. Always? But what about that “friend” who I just want to set straight on FB? What about the neighbor down the street who holds extremely different political views than me? What about that co-worker who makes choices that I think are harming her? Don’t we need to speak truth? Be a little salty now and then?
For as long as I live on this side of heaven, grace and truth (together) will always trip me up. I’m either one or the other, not both/and. Jesus was perfectly full of grace and truth when He walked this earth, but He used them differently. Remember the woman caught in adultery? All the accusers turned away when Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” Then when He and the woman were left standing alone, Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you [GRACE]; go, and from now on sin no more [TRUTH].”
See how well He did that? Always gracious, and seasoned with salt (truth.)
Obviously I can’t fill the sandals of Jesus. Not even close. But for the sake of my relationships, or those that I’m not in relationship with yet, I need to be careful of my speech, my social media posts, and my actions. Others are watching, listening, and reading each of us. Honestly, and I say this as much to myself as those of you reading this: We, who are Christians, shouldn’t be surprised that many “outsiders” are turned away from entering into faith because we are just too damn salty.
Truth has nothing to fear. Maybe it’s time to stop defending it. (Joel Thomas)
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:5-6”
*Excerpts from the message (on 2/26/17) that inspired this post can be found at http://missionaz.org