Do you need a little salt with that????
My church tried a one week experiment last year to see if eating cheaply for a week could help change the world. We were asked to eat beans and rice for a week and at the of the end of the week, the surplus money we would have normally spent on our weekly meals would be donated to the church. The money was earmarked for several local organizations and worldly ministries. This year the beans and rice experiment moved past being a “what if” to “let’s take action” and once again this past week we were asked to participate to the extent that we were able.
I committed to eating beans and rice for dinner for the week and hesitantly took the plunge with my Beano in hand. My small part felt like a huge sacrifice, but I knew that many went “all in” with nothing but beans and rice for every meal.
My small sacrifice seemed so insignificant but the lessons learned impacted me on many levels.
What I Learned From Eating Beans and Rice
1. Eating beans and rice is a sacrifice
2. I used to really like beans and rice!
3. Beano is my friend!
4. Beans and rice tastes better with some seasoning
The lessons above just scratch the surface and describe my physical reaction to eating beans and rice. As I explored why this week impacted me on a deeper level, I knew that two words needed to be studied more carefully – sacrifice and seasoning.
Sacrifice involves the act of surrendering or giving something up for the sake of something else. In our “I want it when I want it” world, sacrifice is not part of our daily vocabulary. We have most everything we want at our fingertips at a moment’s notice. We don’t make a habit of giving anything up in order to achieve our desires – we go after something because we want it. God turns this notion topsy turvy and shifts our equilibrium by sending His Son Jesus to us as a living testament to all that is important. God taught us what sacrifice is by allowing His Only Son to die on a cross for us as His gift of perfect love for all.
The other piece to this lesson involves seasoning – flavor! As the week progressed, my beans and rice was bland, tasteless and spooning one more bite into my mouth required some added flavor. I added salsa or avocados and somehow made it to the bottom of my bowl each evening. I would like to admit that eating beans and rice for every dinner was easy, but it was one of the hardest things I have done recently. I am one of the many who are guilty of grabbing the latest and greatest just to say I did. My eating habits are similar. The more flavor the more I savor! It seems that as we are flooded with more choices and possibilities of things to choose from, the more we crave something new. My beans and rice were begging me to dress them up and change them from ordinary to extraordinary. Extra seasoning and savory is part of our everyday lives, but have we ever stopped to examine the source for spicing up our lives?
God tells us in Matthew 5:13 the following:
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
The NIV Life Application Study Bible explains that “if seasoning has no flavor, it has no value. If Christians make no effort to affect the world around them, they are of little value to God.” We are the seasoning and God asks us to make a difference in our own way, perhaps by something as little as eating beans and rice for dinner for a week.
God sacrificed His Son, Jesus, to provide us with His grace, love, truth and eternal life. These are what we need to season our life. Making sacrifices for God ultimately can affect the world and spreading His grace, love and truth is our reply to His sacrifice – the sharing of His salt or seasoning with others.
How are you the salt of the Earth in your life? Do you share this salt as a way to honor God and what does this look like?
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