If a friend came to you with a new spice, new recipe, new favorite drink and offered you a taste, you would most likely accept.  If a friend came to you, told you (in complete sincerity) that everything you like about food is a lie, you’ve been a fool for all of your life and tried to force-feed you the contents of an entire shopping cart, you would not.  You would argue, reject it, be pretty pissed and maybe even lay him out.  There’s a reason all the little carts in Sam’s Club only offer you bite-size samples:  so that you can choose of your own will, not only to ask for more, but also to be willing to sacrifice your money for it.

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Matthew 5:13 says that we are the salt of the world.  I don’t think salt was chosen randomly for this  analogy.  Think about it: if you tell someone their food needs salt, they’re gonna be offended because it’s a matter of personal preference. And even if they trusted you to put salt on their food, they would be pissed if you dumped an entire salt shaker onto their plate.  But that’s what a lot of Christians do once they’ve had their mountaintop experience and truly grasped how awesome living for God can be.

Most people I know aren’t a huge fan of street preachers, forcing their message onto everyone within earshot.  I was one of those people until I realized that I was becoming a preacher myself; but to those close to me.  To the people who would’ve trusted me to sprinkle of bit of salt over their meal, I had decided to dump every last grain of salt available onto their plate.  To believer and unbeliever alike, that’s a tough pill to swallow.

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The “light” analogy of Matthew 5:14-15 fills in the gaps of the verse before it.  Imagine living in the dark, being completely accustomed to it all of your life, and then having someone suddenly turn on stadium lights just inches from your eyes.  I wouldn’t call that person a friend.  I would call them all sorts of things, but not a friend. Now imagine instead someone lighting a candle and placing it across the room.  It may take a few minutes, a day or two, or even years, but once that person comes to the light, it will keep them there.  Once they choose of their own free will to move to the light and experience it for themselves, it will hold them there.

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Emery, in their song “Listening to Freddie Mercury” sang “it’s not our job to make anyone believe”.  Our job is to be a light, pray God will move in people‘s hearts, and rejoice with them when He does.  That’s it.

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