There is a masterpiece of a movie in theaters now. It's nominated for multiple Oscars including "Best Picture"; has no nudity, sensuality, or violence (although it does include some profanity). It is a PG true story and even features people unashamedly praying in the name of Jesus and declaring, "Thank you, Jesus!"
The entire story revolves around three women of character working silently behind the scenes against resistance and shameful opposition. Yet instead of rage-filled protests, they demonstrated grace, humility and patience to bring about change.
In this season of Trump-hating vitriol and angry marches, it's inspiring and refreshing to be reminded that there is a God-given pathway to progress. The film, Hidden Figures, is a tour de force that deserves our support.
I wish I could reassure readers that the current swelling "resistance movement" will subside, but it won't. Nasty, vulgar women; subsidized anarchists; and lawless legislators are only the beginning. The propagandist media complies as evidenced by their narrative on "airport chaos," when Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said on Sunday's Meet the Press (Jan. 29, 2017) that only 109 foreigners from select Muslim countries were delayed briefly for questioning out of 325,000 in one day.
So this movie has compelling lessons for us at this time. Seeing it, I couldn't help but recall words from the greatest teacher who ever lived in the greatest sermon ever given. "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how shall it be made salty? It is from then on good for nothing but to be thrown out and to be trampled underfoot by men" (Matt. 5:13).
Becoming Informed Influencers
When "The Bullseye Challenge" was launched months ago, the book cover stated the goal of preparing salt and light Christians: "Becoming informed influencers in today's changing culture." Through 30 videos and the book, Christians invest 15 minutes daily for one month to learn to influence others confidently and charitably.
God's people need to be equipped on today's hot-buttoned themes. Whether it is abortion, social justice, illegal immigration, transgenderism or other topics, we need to know what to say and how to say it.
Reflecting on salt and its many uses can help us in carrying out our assignment as "hidden figures" in our spheres today.
5 Uses for Salt
Salt is composed of two poisons, sodium and chloride, which kill if ingested separately. What formerly brought death can bring forth life. With simmering and swelling tensions today, being salt of the earth nails our task.
Salt has been a food preservative since ancient times. It is extremely effective in destroying microorganisms that cause the spoilage of food.
Jesus Christ calls us to preserve morality and stop corruption in our culture. Pastors and God's people cannot be passive. Standing up to opposition, we have an assignment no matter how disrespectful those we face may be.
Salt does irritate wounds. Think of hate-spewing celebrities and protesters wounded by sin. At the same time, we need caution so our actions don't unnecessarily grate on people because we're obnoxious.
2. Source of Flavor
Just as salt adds flavor to food, we are called to do likewise in the midst of an insipid world. Following the ways of God enables us to "rejoice with joy unspeakable" (1 Pet.1:8b) as His ambassadors bringing zest to the world.
Scripture speaks of the "pleasures of sin for a time" (Heb. 11:25) but afterward come consequences that weigh people down in discouragement and depression. Don't let appearances fool you as many defiant demonstrators and detractors are broken and bitter and need to witness another way. We may be the only Bible that onlookers ever read.
3. Makes One Thirsty
Jesus said, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37). He went on to describe the Spirit-filled life wherein obedient followers radiate His love to a darkened world.
It's not by accident that bars have bowls of pretzels and peanuts in front of customers to create thirst. Our assignment and privilege is to be a literal pretzel for Jesus in our corner of the world.
Salt has a unique quality called buoyancy. When something has enough salt, it lifts objects and people up. Think of the Dead Sea phenomenon, where there's so much salt no one ever sinks or drowns there. The wicked Roman commander Vespacian once tried to execute slaves by dumping them bound into this sea, yet failed because they floated.
Surrounded by people who are living with heavy burdens, what a golden opportunity we have each day to lift people up by expressing love rather than disdain. We saw this in recent demonstrations where Christians didn't retaliate when spat upon or punched.
The Bible directs salty saints to seize the opportunity to engage unbelievers wisely and not withdraw into isolation. God directs us, "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, wisely using the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer everyone" (Col.4:5-6).
I'm personally committed to authenticity ever since God impressed on my heart 40 years ago, "Let it never be said of me that I presented the world a caricature of Christ."
In our dealings with lost people, we must be calm and confident. May we be so winsome in our behavior that even when folks disagree with us, they're left with "the sweet fragrance of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:15b).
Closing Cultural Challenge
Ten weeks past the election, millions of people are bitter and some, hateful. If ever we needed to maintain our composure and be the salt of the earth, it's now. Jesus said, "Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another" (Mark 9:50).
Humorist Mark Twain once said, "If Christ were here, there is one thing He would not be, a Christian." Let's prove him wrong as we behave in the opposite spirit of the world, like the "hidden figures" in the film.
There's never been a better time for us to be the "salt of the earth." And remember, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God" (Matt. 5:9).
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 43 yrs, Intercessors for America board member and best-selling author. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Click (here) for his "Here's the Deal" weekly podcast.
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