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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Flavor and Light

We ordered Chinese food the other day, and I noticed something I hadn’t before—little red flecks of pepper. We are extreme creatures of habit at my house (think control issues), so we typically order the same dish, or at least a version of the same dish, and the flecks of red pepper were something new. Why were they there? What was their purpose? We all stood around and absolutely goggled the newly added flecks, as though we’d never seen anything like them before.

The new dish was a bit spicier, and it definitely looked different. It got me to thinking ... how might that relate to our daily lives? Well, are we to be the same old chicken with the same old brown sauce, as flavorful as it may be, but still the same? Never changing, never moving beyond what we are? What if we step outside our comfort zone for just a minute?

For many of us, parenting has to be regulated by routine, aka the same old, same old. But is the status quo something we want to be passing down to our children? Or a better question: Is the exact same thing what we should pass down to our children? Jesus has a little bit to say on this subject. No, He doesn’t specifically mention Chinese food, but He does mention salt and light.

In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us that we are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” But what is salt’s purpose? It’s used to flavor and preserve. Apply that to you, me, and our kiddos, and, voila, you have us flavoring the Kingdom of God all the while preserving it for future generations. Pretty cool, huh? We get to be the red pepper flecks among the masses of regular, everyday Joes stuck in their daily grind.

As for the bit about light, do you remember the song “This Little Light of Mine” from your Sunday school years? The lyrics bring out the truth found in Jesus' words:

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15-16 NIV)

The Almighty deliberately put His light into us, as cracked and flawed as we are, especially for that reason—so His light and love could stream out of our brokenness and into His Kingdom. None of us is perfect, but we serve a perfect and awesome God, which makes the light that shines out of us awesome and perfect.

The glow, the radiance that comes from being in close communication with your Savior cannot be hidden. It will burst out of you. No bushel basket can hide it. No bowl can contain it. All we can do is embrace it, run with it, and share it. Let the light that God Himself has placed inside you warm others like a heat lamp at the fast-food restaurant! You look different. You behave differently. Why? Because you are different. You are chosen. You are loved.

Our kids have been created in the same way. They are beautiful and precious—but incredibly flawed and cracked—just like us. Having Jesus’s light shining through all their perfect imperfections just makes them even more precious, like little walking nightlights for the rest of the world stuck in darkness.

Copyright © 2021 Dallas Louis, used with permission.

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