Salted conversations
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Do you ever feel bombarded by words in our culture today? 

That probably seems like an odd thing to say, given that I make a living with my words. Recent news has certainly sent word bombs flying throughout all the media sources. 

As Christians, how do we make certain our words are landing in the right places?

I have listened to a lot of the rhetoric surrounding the Supreme Court and other issues. I’m not going to debate the issue of abortion because there is no need. I have always liked the simple message I read on yard signs back in the eighties that said “It’s a baby y’all.” Truth isn’t as complicated as fiction. 

I’m glad people are thinking again about the truth of the abortion issue, in addition to the politics the issue creates. But, in all the conversations I have listened to, no one seems to be discussing the deepest concern. There is a profound truth that has been lost to our culture today and to our conversations. 

Why aren’t we speaking about the reason unwanted babies are being created?  

The truth about consequences

There are millions of statements being made about personal freedom. Where are the statements about personal responsibility? I’m not unaware that the issue is complicated by the fact that some babies are created as the result of an attack. But the complete truth about abortion is shaded by that fact.  

Last year, more than one million babies were aborted. Only 1.5 percent of those abortions were attributed to an attack. That means, if the numbers are correct, last year 985,000 babies lost their lives because their moms and dads didn’t want to take the responsibility or live with the consequences of creating them. 

There is a reason that God wanted the most personal relationship a person can have to belong to a husband and wife, who would keep that relationship sacred and holy. Christians need to be salting their conversations with the complete truth of God’s word on this subject. 

Any time we break God’s laws, there are consequences. Are we leaving a generation of God’s children in the dark because we don’t want to hurt their feelings? Be judgmental? Do we just quietly feel badly about the lack of truth, or do we choose to salt our conversations with truth?  

The truth about consequences is that there are consequences for speaking truth, for speaking partial truth, for lies, and for staying silent when truth is needed. 

The truth about salty words

Don’t you hate getting salt on a cut finger? 

It stings and often we don’t realize there is a problem until we feel the burn. 

I was curious: Why does salt sting? Google to the rescue! 

I found an article that explained the sensation. Salt stings for the same reason antiseptic stings: both activate the nerve “receptors.” I couldn’t help but see the metaphor.  

Sometimes “truth hurts.” We shouldn’t throw our truth around, hoping it will cause pain. That is using our words as weapons. At the same time, we can’t help the fact that when salt hits a wound people feel it. The sting alerts them that something is wrong. It is a natural response of our “receptors.” 

God created all things, including us. It would seem he wanted us to feel truth sometimes, especially when it is applied to something that is wrong in our lives. 

Why did Jesus call his disciples “the salt of the world”?

I just finished recording six Bible studies from the Sermon on the Mount. (They will be available on the website later this summer.) Jesus was teaching his disciples when he said, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matthew 5:13). 

Disciples are the salt of the earth. Our words may be the only Scripture, or message from God, that people will hear on a subject. Have we allowed the culture to remove the “saltiness” from our conversations? Is that why our culture has been “trampling” God’s word with their rhetoric? 

Our unsalted words may not sting people quite as much, but that’s because they are no longer as good. People can throw them away and walk on them. Truth will sting, but that is because pure, salty truth hits a receptor. 

God wants us to notice when something is wrong. 

Will you live a salty life?

Peter Marshall was an American preacher in Washington D.C. who later served as a Senate Chaplain. He was known for his wisdom as well as his preaching talent. Peter Marshall said, “Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.” 

Have Christians fallen for Satan’s messages of partial truth? 

If so, we have lost our saltiness. If our words don’t “burn” some wrong opinions these days, our words have lost their saltiness. 

If we don’t stand for biblical truth, we will fall for something less. Jesus taught his disciples that an unsalted life and witness won’t be good for anything. Jesus also taught his disciples to speak the truth in love. In other words, don’t rub salt into wounds but, at the same time, don’t hesitate to let God allow the truth to “burn” just a bit, even when you speak it with love. Be encouraged that when people “receive it” they might become aware of a wrong in their lives and know to fix it. 

“Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.” Peter Marshall was right to encourage us to live with a clear vision and the strength to stand for God’s truth. May our words be salted with his truth, by his Spirit, for the sake of his purpose. If our words burn just a bit, it is just the truth about consequences.  

Disciples are the salt of the earth. Our salted conversations bring the flavor of truth to our words and to our world. Our culture deserves the chance to know God’s word and hopefully live a life he will bless.