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The bell pepper scenario

salt of the earth

zefirchik06 | Shutterstock

Brian Schumacher - published on 09/01/23

As Christians we are not called to impose ourselves on anyone. Rather we are meant to bring out their natural talents and skills to become who Christ calls them to be.

It was a very simple mistake. You could even call it boneheaded. But years later, it gave me a pretty neat insight into a popular quote from the Bible.

Several years ago I decided to try my hand at cooking stuffed bell peppers. I found a recipe online and figured I’d give it a go. It was pretty simple – just cook some rice and ground beef, stuff the peppers, then roast them in the oven. I decided to season the beef with all the good stuff: cumin, paprika, black pepper, oregano, the works. I boiled the rice, fried up the beef, stuffed the peppers, roasted them and voila – I had a very bland dinner.

As you can imagine, I was pretty frustrated because: one – the food was boring and two – I had no idea how to fix it. A couple months later I tried it again and switched up some of the seasoning and the same exact thing happened again. Now I was really frustrated. It was then I remembered a very important, and very neglected, ingredient: salt. 

Fast forward to a month ago, one of my friends asked me to teach him how to cook. By no means am I an iron chef, but I can definitely handle myself in a kitchen. That said, I can’t say I knew where to begin. Then I remembered the bell pepper scenario and thought ah yes, let’s start with salt. It was one of those insight-in-mid-sentence moments where I said, “You don’t salt anything to make it salty, but rather to bring out the other flavors … and oh my gosh I just now understand what He meant by you are the salt of the earth.

It’s so easy to impose yourself on others when you’re only trying to help them. It’s so easy to say, “These are the mistakes I made and what I learned so be like I am now.”

But as Christians we are not called to impose ourselves on anyone. Rather we are meant to bring out their natural talents and skills to become who Christ calls them to be. When Christ says we are the salt of the earth, we’re not meant to make others like our own individual selves, but rather to bring out their God-given individuality. Yes sometimes salt can be forgotten or neglected, but if you want a meal full of flavor, you need it.

~

This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

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The Human Being Fully Alive
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