In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz shows Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. Patty is telling Charlie that the teacher sent her to the principal’s office on the first day of school.
“It was your fault, Chuck,” she said.
“My fault? How could it be my fault?” he asked.
“You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”
Are you a good influence on your friends and family? Or have you lost your saltiness?
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In Matthew 5:13, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
In this text, Jesus calls those who follow him to be a godly influence in the community and world in which they live. The command is tough because Jesus clearly expects the world to be transformed by our presence. That means we need to be ‘pure’ salt.
Salt is a seasoning and a preservative. Salt by itself is nothing more than little fine particles. But when it is rubbed onto meat or added to food, it becomes what it was intended for: influencing the flavor.
Salt that just sits in the shaker is of no use, says the Rev. J Jeffrey Smead, an Anglican pastor in Pennsylvania. He compares salt in a shaker to Christians who become complacent, who no longer share grace, who refuse to take a moral stand, who refuse to share their faith. They are sitting in a shaker!
In the “Peanuts” reference, Peppermint Patty passed the buck. But she was also stating a fact. We should be positive influences on our friends. We do have an influence, be it for good or bad. We are always an influence on the people in our lives.
What you say and do influences people God puts into your life.
Is your salt sitting in the shaker or are you bringing flavor to those who God has sent you?
Lisa Plorin is a first-term Women of the ELCA executive board member from Upham, N.D. Read Women of the ELCA blogs here.