This is my article as published in the September 12, 2013 issue of The Mena Star
Do you like your food spicy? I know that I do. What is spice and why does it make food taste so good?
According to the dictionary, spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used for flavoring food. I like my food flavorful!
When Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth", He meant that we are the spice of this world. We’re here to add flavor, in other words; we are here to make things taste good.
Some Christians seem to pride themselves on being bland, flavorless and boring. Anything else must be wrong. And yet Jesus asks us to be salty, to be spicy, to be flavorful.
Job 6:6 asks “Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?”
I love good flavorful food. We use lots of spice at our house. If you don’t like garlic you would have a hard time at our house. We grow our own basil and rosemary so that we have fresh flavorful spices that are much tastier than the dried spices you can buy in the store. Take a quick look at our spice rack and you will find thyme, sage, paprika, oregano, curry, bay leaves, chili powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, cumin, onion, coriander, turmeric, mustard, saffron, and pepper. The purpose of each of these spices is to add flavor.
In Matthew 5:13, Jesus said. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and walked on”.
Without salt or spice, many foods are very bland and tasteless. Jesus isn’t looking for bland followers. If you aren’t salty, if you aren’t spicy, if you have no flavor you aren’t good for anything.
In verses 14 and 15 Jesus continues, “You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven”.
Light has amazing qualities. One of my favorite qualities is when it passes through a prism and breaks up into the colors of the rainbow. We are to be the light that gives light to the world, but we each one are a different color. We each have different qualities, different flavors, and different spices.
God hasn’t asked us to be cookie cutter copies of each other. He has asked each one of us to spice up our corner of the world. Each one of us has a sphere of influence that no one else has. God has asked us to be a light in our sphere of influence.
When it’s dark, people notice the light. Have you ever seen a searchlight? When I was a kid growing up it seemed like we saw them quite often. Whenever I would see one it was very intriguing.
I haven’t seen a searchlight in years, but I can still vividly remember seeing them. I grew up out in the country where there were no streetlights. When I could see a searchlight it looked like it was the only thing in the sky.
Is there any way someone could hide a light like that? No way. There are some lights that just cannot be hid. So if that light is on, then we are going to see it; and if we can’t see it, there’s something wrong!
When we taste our food, if it is salty, then we’re going to taste it. If there are spices, then we’re going to taste them. If we taste our food and it is bland, with no salt or spice we probably won't eat it. And if we do we won't enjoy it. The spice in our food makes the difference between tasty and bland.
In the same way, Christians should make a difference in this world; we should be just as noticeable as salt and light. We should be the spice of the world, and the world needs more spice. Be spicy!
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.