Everyday you pick up the salt shaker and probably do not realize that there are at least 14,000 uses for the common table salt. Truly God’s gift is a wonder. Salt is not just an enhancer but also a preservative. It is an excellent cleaning agent—a brine of salt and vinegar poured down the kitchen sink prevents grease from collecting! Jesus said we are to be salt and light, not pepper and dark! Yesterday we talked about the message of the gospel and how it offends the person to whom we bring it. But, if they only could taste the salt in our shaker then what a transformation would take place! The message may be offensive but as Paul and Jesus said we are to be meek and gentle, salt and light in a dark world.
Today in our reading, [2Cor 11] Paul speaks to his beloved Corinthians in boldness for as their spiritual father he had promised them to Christ. He used the analogy of a father’s jealousy for the protection of a virgin daughter. In particular, Paul spoke to them about his love and concern for their lack of discernment regarding those who came to them with various “truths” thus deceiving them and leading them astray. Jesus asked this pointed question: “But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” This is what Paul was asking his beloved Corinthians. By not being discerning they were losing their salt’s effectiveness, they were being“tossed to and fro , and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness…” [Eph 4]
As the Corinthians we need to ask why we too so easily accept the pepper of this world; those who come wrapped in skilled speech and are proud. Unlike the , the Corinthians and us in turn, are often unable to discern the truth of message because we are searching the scriptures to verify what is said is truth and not error. [Heb 5:14]
Jesus did not say to be pepper but to be salt. Just as pepper is dark so our enemy is dark. Just as pepper is spicy so is the enemy with his methods of deception. He has one aim in mind; he seeks to devour. The false teachers came with the motive of removing the salt from the Corinthian church and its effective testimony. The enemy today comes for the same reason. Their peppershaker might be camouflaged as a salt shaker but when turned upside down we find not flakes of salt but peppercorns! As Jesus said, they are dressed in sheep’s clothing but inside are but ravening wolves. Once we know the truth we can discern the peppershaker from the saltshaker. As babes we are to be encased and protected in the saltshaker but once mature we are to allow God to shake us out. We will then find that we are walking and sharing the table with the pepper. Our job as salt is to share the truth that frees from death, preserves the saints, heals, seasons and shares the cleansing message of the gospel to the peppers of this world.