“Living Uncommon”

By: Mariah Bedford 

“Your lives are like salt among the people. But if you, like salt, become bland, how can your ‘saltiness’ be restored? Flavorless salt is good for nothing and will be thrown out and trampled on by others.” (Matthew 5:13 TPT)

Back in the “Bible days,” salt was used to preserve food. They didn’t have refrigerators, ice chests, or electricity—they only had salt. Salt kept the food better for longer. Essentially, salt was a preserver, and I believe God wants us to be “like salt among people.” He wants us to be preservers of His character and His Word. I know that sounds a little weird. We wouldn’t use that quote as our phone background or hang it up on our wall or tattoo it on our bodies. But knowing the context of Jesus’ words helps the metaphor take shape in our lives.

If you’re a Christian, you are the lens in which others will see Jesus. Just imagine them putting on a pair of glasses where to see Jesus, they had to see you first. They see your actions, how you treat people, how you carry yourself, and so on, and they now associate that with Jesus. I don’t mean for that to scare you. Your good actions show how great He is too. But what Jesus meant when He said we are the salt among people is that we have the opportunity to both preserve and shed light on who Jesus is, and also to spoil it. Salt had the power to preserve food, but if it lost its saltiness and became bland, it would no longer serve its purpose.

And this is what “living uncommon” and being a Christian is all about. It’s not about being perfect or never making mistakes, it’s about choosing to live uncommon everyday in small ways.

And living uncommon is not always easy. I’ll be honest, not “showing off” my body on social media is hard sometimes. Sometimes I just want to tell God, “It’s only a couple inches of my stomach, and it’s nothing more than what they’ve seen online before,” but God reminds me I have younger sisters and young women who look up to me. Would they feel like to be beautiful, they’d have to show off their bodies too?

Now I’m not here to judge you or claim you aren’t virtuous if you’ve ever shown any skin on Instagram. I am just showing you my journey with living uncommon so you know you’re not alone in your struggles, whatever they are. Sometimes I want to argue with God about how difficult NOT living like the world can be, but He reminds me my influence is way more important than my popularity.

And you know what else is hard? Not gossiping. Especially when you’re married. Did you know you can gossip to your spouse? And I’m not just talking about venting about someone who’s hurt you in some way, I mean when you have no real ties to the person you’re talking about, other than your own self interest. Gossiping is something I have to remind myself not to do DAILY, honestly more than once a day (and I still fail). But the closer I grow to God, and the more honest conversations I have with Him, the more spiritually mature I become.

Being the salt of the earth is saying no to the flesh every day in order to preserve who God really is.

Maybe for you, it’s really easy to yell at your kids or significant other. Maybe you’re really insecure, but there’s a small voice telling you that’s not who God says you are. Maybe you just can’t seem to have enough faith in God to do what His Word says. Or maybe you’re holding onto years of pain and regret. Wherever you’re at, it’s never too late to become a “preserver” of God’s character. It’s never to late to start living uncommon, even if it’s in a small way.

I want to encourage you that even though living uncommon isn’t always easy, it’s completely worth it. Watching my little sister take after me in so many ways has reminded me I have power over how she views Jesus. Learning to become spiritually mature and say no to the flesh is hard, but it’s so rewarding. And the best way to start is to simply have a conversation with God. Tell Him where you’re at. Let Him know where you struggle, because He already knows. Jesus already died on the cross for every mistake you will ever make. Just know “living uncommon” is a journey that looks different for everyone, but Jesus would love to walk with you every step of the way.

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