Christians are called to be “salt and light”. I wrote a lengthy post on that in November; however, I never saw what the response was to that until a while back. The unintended consequences of being myself left one feeling guilty and another running away.
In the first experience, it was during a conversation while watching TV at one guy’s place. A commercial about a reality show featured a naked girl getting butt-waxed. The wall became very interesting to me for a little bit.
He asked if I would like that job. No actually, I’m married. Then he got quiet and in a low voice said, “I wouldn’t do nothing, or anything.” It was not until later that I realized was salt being applied. Ever gargle with salt water and it hits a cold sore? Hurts a bit, doesn’t it? I had applied it inadvertently because of my new nature.
During the second experience, I was at work talking to my friend Eric, and we got deep into spiritual matters. One of the guys who had come in for overtime walked over to listen. Almost as fast as he arrived, he ran back to his station. It happened twice that night. We weren’t preaching at him, it was just him listening to a theological conversation between the two of us. Quickly a verse came to mind:
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3: 19-21
It goes deeper than that. I was reading a book by J.B. Phillips titled Your God Is Too Small. It starts by dealing with misperceptions of God that are inadequate. Then in the next section, he writes about what makes God more than adequate. In the section “If God were Focused (1)”, a paragraph stuck out to me as he explained what God would be like as a man:
“We need not expect that A, like some religious reformers in history, will go about denouncing men as ‘miserable sinners’. Indeed there would be no need for that. Insincerity always feels uncomfortable in the presence of sincerity, unreality in the presence of reality, and selfishness in the presence of love. We may expect then that in the presence of a morally complete man, a good deal of spiritual discomfort will be spontaneously aroused, sometimes dully and sometimes acutely. Some men will be stimulated to an intense hunger for wholeness, but some would be angered and resentful and determined either to get out range of this cause of their discomfort or to get rid of it.”
That was the response to Jesus, loved or hated, he made people uncomfortable. This applies to us as Christians in this way:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4: 22-24 NIV
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12: 2 NIV
As the Holy Spirit works on us (Philippians 1: 6), we will be transformed more like Christ. That will begin to have an effect on those around you. Some may leave, and some may ask you about the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). It’s God in us that draws and repels as long as we act in lovingkindness without condemnation. It would be too easy to excuse a bad attitude if we don’t act that way.
Just get deeper into life with God and the salt and light will come.