Spices are a very important ingredient in cooking. I find that food tastes better when I cook with spices. Spices give a meal a considerable amount of flavor and extra dimensions when added to a recipe. Chicken is fine when cooked on it’s own, but when you add seasonings such as rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, etc. the flavor of the chicken goes from okay to extraordinary. One of my most favorite drinks is Chai Tea Latte. Chai Tea is drink that is heavily laden with spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and others. Without the addition of those spices my daily indulgence would be nothing more than milky tea; and that’s not too appetizing to me.
It seems to me that almost every kitchen has at least the two most basic spices for cooking – salt and pepper. In the Biblical times, salt played an extremely vital role. Salt was much more than a spice to season food back then. Since refrigeration didn’t exist, salt was also used to preserve food. In addition, salt was used as a disinfectant, to sweeten breath, and as a commodity. Simply put, salt was valuable. When Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13a, ESV) I think that Jesus is not referring to salt in the terms of a seasoning, but more so in the role of his followers having value as a preserving influence. Paul says in Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” I think that in this passage he’s instructing us to act as if we are seasoned with salt – which to me means that we should be portraying Jesus’ image so that the image is preserved in the recipient’s heart and mind. We must be of the right mindset to season our words with the goodness of salt. And, we cannot do that if we have red hot pepper running through our emotions at the time.
I know my words sound more like red hot pepper than salt when I am tired, impatient, or frustrated. And most often those peppery words are aimed at the people with whom I am closest, such as my husband. I am most certain that at those times there certainly isn’t any graciousness at all in those words. Yet at the very same time that I am upset with someone very close to me and be spitting out venom towards them, I can turn right around and speak kind words, seasoned with salt, to a complete stranger.
I need to exhibit the same kind of words, always seasoned with the salt of Jesus, to all audiences – no matter who they are. I know that I can only do that if I have my heart, and mind set on things above, if I let the Holy Spirit control and work through me.
Dear Lord, I come to you today and confess that my words do not always result in reflecting your graciousness. Help me Jesus to hold my words in those moments when I am tempted to hurl poison. Let me reflect you in all that I say and do. Let my words and actions reflect all of your goodness, and may the light of your pure love shine through me. I pray that I can draw others onto you and into a glorious relationship with you as their Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord for your loving embrace in which you hold me.