Remember my post on Salt? I got three words for you: Handle with care.
Okay, get ready for the glaring metaphor here. When you go to the doctor and she starts saying stuff about hypertension, swelling, heart disease, high blood pressure? She tells you to exercise, change your diet, and cut back on the salt. Everything in moderation. Don’t heed the warning; get ready to die. Stroke. Heart attack. It’s coming for you.
Ya’ll know where I’m going with this, right? If you are too salty, you could do the opposite of what the salt of the earth is supposed to do. Instead of giving folks the option of a clean heart through Christ, you could ultimately be attacking someone’s heart (see what I did right there?).
If handled correctly, we will enhance everything around us when we sashay into the room. We’re suppose to bring out the flavor in everyone we encounter. We bring good taste. It’s what you do (insert hair flick, or eyebrow raise, or I-know-I’m-cute-face here). But too much salt can mess up some stuff. Ladies (and gentlemen if you’re reading), don’t be salty. I made up a list for you. You determine if you’re salty or not, while I sip my tea.
1. You may be salty if people wince a lot around you. You’re over-seasoning. In an effort to bring out the flavor, your salt top fell off, and you have, in essence, made a person, place, or spirit worse than they were before they met you. I usually qualify this kind of salting as the insulting compliment. Here’s one I’ve heard too many times. “You’re pretty for a dark skinned woman.” What tha? (Wait a minute. Let me calm down.) What am I supposed to do with that? Now I’m salty, because of somebody trying to be salt and doing too much.
2. You may be salty if people ask you why you’re so negative, when you really think you’re a pretty positive person. Much like the insult/compliment, this kind of saltiness approaches an issue by taking a situation that has potential for positivity and pouring salt all over it. Back in the day it was called pouring salt in someone’s game. Example. Right in the middle of your girl celebrating her deliverance from impulse buying, you say, “Girl. You’re alright now, but as soon as somebody makes you mad, it’s going to be hard not to go straight to the Gucci outlet.” Then you say something like, “I’m just trying to be real with you.” Really? Can you celebrate this one battle with me before you sabotage the next one?
3. You may be salty if people shrink around you. The person literally folds into herself. Pour salt on a worm. It shrinks and shrivels until it’s all dries out. As believers, our presence should actually cause people to plump up. To bloom and blossom. If folks are drying out and dehydrating around you, well… My sisters, let us not dry folk out. Many of us well-intentioned Christians have fallen prey to this kind of salting. It usually comes in the form of “witnessing.” Somehow the witness turns into a verbal lashing, and all of the thus saith the Lords we throw at folks drive them away, instead of drawing them to Christ. Here’s one, “You need to quit smoking and come on to church. Your lungs already black! You don’t want to take God a black heart, too.” Um. So yes. Smoking is bad. And yes, our bodies are temples. But dang… The resonating message is God doesn’t want my black lungs or my black heart. I’ll chill at the house, then. That’s not how any of this should work. You lift God UP. God draws unto. You lift up God by what you DO with your own life, not by what you tell other folks to do with theirs. Salty.
4. The person you are salting is constantly frustrated, which frustrates you. You can’t minister to them, because you’ve become too upset. You can’t see their needs anymore. You’ve sprinkled your salt so much that the person/people you’re salting can’t be seen because they are hidden under a pile of salt. Your salt. Too much salt does the opposite of what just enough salt does, that is, too much salt can actually take away the flavor of something, and change the chemical make up as well. Here’s the thing, sometimes in being salt, we sprinkle too much of ourselves over folks in an effort to make them like us, to make them “taste” like us. I know we mean well when we do this, but this is not a good thing. Think about your own food, you don’t put a whole bunch of salt on squash so it’ll taste like salt. You season squash, just a little, so it’ll taste more like what it already is, squash. Let people be themselves, and stop using your salt to change their flavor. (OUCH!–I felt that in my belly.)
5. Finally, when salting, the best chef to ask about how much you should use is God. You don’t know folks like God knows folks. As a matter of fact, you don’t even know yourself like God knows you. When salting, start small and let God guide your hand, because while you can always add a little salt at a time, once too much salt has been sprinkled, you can’t easily take it away. So use some discernment and direction. Be conscious of when you’re getting the go ahead to season, and use the divine measuring spoon. That way, we can all enjoy the flavor.
Sprinkling with Caution,