Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH/WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CHAPTER 2A
6/7/2017 3:44:00 PM by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

  As in the days of Noah, men will be lovers of self … more than lovers of God.

The world sees self-love as good. This worldview is derived from the belief that man is the center of the Universe. Our importance exceeds that of others. While we may value kindness, mercy, and many of the Godly traits, we apply them only as they relate to ourselves and our perceived needs. Whatever we desire is considered good and must be pursued at the expense of others. 

Indeed, Christians who wallow in self-hatred are ineffective. 

For the believer, however, self-worth is not found in what we think of ourselves, but rather in our relationship with Christ. When we understand our value to him, we desire to please him above all else. 

We put self to death because our identity is found in him. 

Self is vinegar. 

I have learned that to survive the highway, I must drive defensively. Drivers are becoming more and more aggressive and distracted. I believe the love of self is to blame. Most are ignorant of their bad habits or justify their recklessness because they feel their need to rush to wherever they are going is more important than the other driver or they are too self-absorbed to notice others on the same road they are traveling. 

Salt, or the Christian view, perceives God as the infinite Creator and sovereign over all that is and was and is to come.

When this perception guides our daily lives, we are more cognizant of others and put their needs above our own. 

Second-century philosopher, Mathetes, studied the new religion of Christianity. Amazed at the uniqueness of the sect’s followers, he wrote to his student regarding the characteristics he observed in those who called themselves Christian:

“Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language, or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food, and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their countries, as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them, their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives.

They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law … They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that’s their glory. 

From this early writing, we see that the New Testament Church produced a type of person who was identifiable by the life they led. Their actions were a testament to the faith they possessed. 

Jesus intended for his followers, while living in the world, to be separate from the world. He prayed for the protection of those he considered to be salt (John 17). He never intended for believers to be isolated from the world, rather be involved. The miracle of the Holy Spirit is that he preserves the believer against impurities while we engage in our daily lives. 

So why, then, do we want to keep acting like the person we once were? That person no longer exists.

”For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring” (Acts 17:28 NIV).

 

 

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Comments

Ann Ellison From Abilene Texas At 6/7/2017 6:16:19 PM

Wonderful reminder to be the salt we are called to be.

Reply by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Absolutely. Thanks for stopping by.

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