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Salt. Not Sugar.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and be trodden under foot of men

{Matthew 5:13}

We are called to be salt. Not sugar. We are loved by the King, but we may not be loved by the world. Like Esther, we were called for such a time as this. Called to be salt. Not sugar.

The World is a big bad place. We all know that. It's full of hatred and abandonment and addiction. Full of bad decisions and greed. Full of people who are full of themselves. The self-love movement has never been more rampant.

Salt. We are called to be salt. To pursue God's Kingdom. To tell the world of God's great big Love. This doesn't mean erring on the side of caution. God wants us to face life's problems head on. I tend to err on the side of what I view as compassion and love. I turn a blind eye to the wrong. I don't want to make someone uncomfortable, or to be viewed as judgemental or self-righteous. I make my own version of what love looks like. And in doing this, I affirm sin. I normalize harmful behaviour and selfish decisions. My definition of love and compassion pales in comparison to God's. And I lose sight of this. Because I sugarcoat things. Because I forget I was called to be salt.

"Everyone is different" "You can't just tell someone they are wrong" "You'll push people away" These are the things I tell myself as I skate around the realness of sin. And yes. These things are true. But I forget about Jesus. Jesus embodies love and compassion. He came from Heaven. The most beautiful place, into a world that was surging with anger and hatred and sin. He came, and He loved. He healed the sick. He wept. He calmed seas and gave Hope and raised the dead. And then he died. A horrible death.

And do you know what else He did? He told a woman to 'Go, and sin no more.' He didn't pat her on the back, nor did He yell and tell her she was a failure. He just said 'Go, and sin no more.' Jesus was bold. He didn't judge to hurt people, but to help. He knew what was best, and He still knows. So why am I rewriting His definition of compassion and love? He IS compassion and love. He IS mercy and grace.

And His Father is full of a righteous anger. Not because He is mean. But because He loves us with the fiercest love. He hates sin. The big bad world makes Him cry. And He sees us floundering, choosing wrong over right, and He is filled with wrath. Because He hates sin.

The following words from Trevin Wax struck me. The judgementless Gospel is a common approach. And while the sugar is sweet, it covers the salt that we were created to be. It puts God in a box. It leaves no reason for Grace.

Take away the notion of judgment and you rob Christianity of any hope of satisfying our longing for justice, a longing built into us from our just and wise God. The judgmentless gospel fails to deal with the problem of evil and the detrimental way that we humans treat each other (and by extension, God). Once we take away judgment, we lose the gravity of our sin. Once we lose sight of our sinfulness, we short-circuit our experience of the powerful gratitude that comes from receiving grace.What the judgmentless gospel leaves us with is a one-dimensional God – a sappy, sanitized deity that we can easily manage. He nods and winks at our behavior, much like a kind elderly man who is not seriously invested in our lives. But the evil of our world is much too serious for us to view God as a pandering papa.The picture of God in the Bible is much more satisfying. He is angry because he is love. He looks at the world and sees the trafficking of innocent girls, the destructive use of drugs, the genocidal atrocities in Africa, the terrorist attacks that keep people in perpetual fear, and he – out of love for the creation that reflects him as creator – is rightfully and gloriously angry. Real love always wants the best for the beloved.The God who is truly scary is not the wrathful God of the Bible, but the god of the judgmentless gospel, who closes his eyes to the evil of this world, shrugs his shoulders, and ignores it in the name of “love.” What kind of “love” is this? A god who is never angered at sin and who lets evil go by unpunished is not worthy of worship.

These words are big. They make you think. And they were the very words I needed to go out into the world with newfound Love. Newfound awe and wonder for the One who created me. Newfound resolve to be salt. I won't be everyone's cup of tea. But I will stand true to my faith in the One who created Love. I will stop sugarcoating the Truth. I will cling to the fact that True Love ALWAYS wants whats best for His beloved. And you are beloved.

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