Preserve The Love
By: Danny Wallace
Does anyone remember the TV show hosted by Art Linkletter that was called, “Kids Say The Darnedest Things?” Kids definitely say some outrageous things, but I believe that we adults can top them. I never ceased to be amazed at how many things we adults say with absolutely no idea as to what we’re talking about?
Everyone has probably heard the joke about the woman who continued to cut the end off of a perfectly good ham with no idea as to why she did it, other than the fact that both her mother and grandmother had done the same thing. When the mother was asked why she did it she replied that she cut the ends off of the ham because her mother (the grandmother) always did the same thing before putting it in the pan to cook.
Finally, someone thought to ask the grandmother why she cut the end off of the ham and she said, “Why honey, I cut the ends off because my pan was too short.”
My mother had a saying that I always thought was ridiculous. She often said, “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about.”
What? Are you serious? You want “me” to stop crying, and “if I don’t,” you’ll make me cry even more? Honestly, maybe I’m the only person on earth who thinks that is just plain dumb, but I still think it’s as ridiculous today as it was the first time I heard it.
In the Christian world we’ve got some pretty ridiculous sayings of our own. Actually, let me take that back. These sayings are very wise. It’s the context in which we use them that is so ridiculously out of place.
For instance, we love to throw around the statement, “We are the salt of the earth,” when referring to how we need to rant and rave about the sin in someone’s life. In fact, I read somewhere the other day where that statement was followed up with, “The bible says we’re to be salt, not sugar,” as reasoning for more hellfire and brimstone preaching.
Does anyone even know what salt is? Has anyone bothered to ask why we are encouraged to be the salt of the earth in a spiritual context? Salt does two very important things. It gives exuberant flavor, and it preserves. The taste of “saltiness” is one of the basic human tastes, and “salting” is a most important means of food preservation.
In proper context, what flavor do we add, and what exactly are we to preserve? Is it the ranting and hypocritical raving of the Pharisees of old, or is it the blessing, love, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, our precious Lord and Savior?
As the salt of the earth we bring the flavor of God’s love and mercy to bear upon the earth, preserving love until Jesus comes to take us all home.” We are to lift HIM high, so that HE can draw all men unto HIMSELF. We are to preserve “His love,” not the dictate of a Law that He fulfilled completely on our behalf.
As humans we love to talk, and so much is revealed when we can’t resist the urge to exercise our right to free speech. Unfortunately, most of our words come with a bitter flavor, and preserve nothing of life, value, and hope in the destiny of others.
Jesus says, “I love sinners,” while man feels compelled to clarify the heart of Jesus by saying, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.”
You can forget the words spoken before self-righteousness inserted its “but” into the sentence. Our true heart and agenda always follows the “but.”
If there is no “but,” then how refreshing it is to encounter a heart that rests in Jesus to say, “I love you. (period)” This kind of love is indeed, the salt of the earth – preserving the flavor of God until the day when Love returns to take us home.