Friday, October 14, 2016

Staying Salty

One perk (or occupational hazard) of teaching high school is staying current in modern slang.

My students often tell me I talk like "a preppy white girl" and take it upon themselves to teach me all the latest lingo they think I should know. 

I will admit: Sometimes I have to consult to fully comprehend the language of the modern-day teenager

Most recently, I learned what it means to be salty:

  1. exceptionally bitter, angry, or upset 
(i.e. She's salty because she just got played.)

Before you take this definition with "a grain of salt" (sorry), I should probably point out that The American Dialect Society gave the word "salty" (with the above definition) the Most Likely to Succeed Award at its 25th Annual Word of the Year Conference in Portland, Oregon. 

No. I am not kidding. 

Don't believe me? Check out this article in The Wall Street Journal
Also worth noting is the winner of Most Creative Word of the Year


Kind of apropos since Monday was Columbus Day.

By the way, columbusing is a term used to describe white people "discovering" things already known to minority cultures. Guilty.

Jesus had a lot to say about staying salty. 

But he wasn't using the new award-winning definition of the word. 
Even though he was the word made flesh, Jesus didn't have Jesus was old-school. 

He meant the kind of salty that adds just the right amount of flavor to a dish. 

The kind of salty that preserves. The kind of salty that heals. The kind of salty you fling out over the roads to clear a path for safe travel through the snow. 

He dubbed His early followers "the salt of the earth" and urged them to stay salty. After all, what good is salt that has lost its flavor? 

But, to be honest, some of us have lost our flavor. Some of us have become useless. Instead of clearing a path through the snow, we have become the frozen chosen. Others are so salty, they completely ruin the main dish. There is nothing to do but toss it in the trash and start again from scratch. So, how do you know if you're still tasty? 

Here's some food for thought to whet your appetite:

1. You're too salty if you don't have any unchurched friends. 
Know what you get when you have too much salt all in one place? Sardines. It's good to have friends who share your beliefs, but if you don't have any friends who aren't Christians, then you and your crew are like a can of smelly sardines. Take a big whiff.

2. You're not salty if your friends don't know you're a Christian.
If you do have unchurched friends and they can't figure out you're a Christian just by being around you, then you're as bland as can be. There should be something inherently different about you. We are called to be in the world but not of it.

3. You're too salty if you have an agenda. 
WWJD? He would love people. All kinds of people. The sinners and the saints. But mostly the sinners. And that's exactly what we are called to do. Love people. Just as they are. Not because we want to bring them to church on Sunday. Not because we are trying to convert them. Not because they are a soul we want to win and hang on the wall above our fireplace. Just genuinely love people like Jesus did. Your saltiness will naturally make them thirsty. Then you can lead them to the well of living water that never runs dry.

4. You're too salty if you are easily offended. 
If you are appalled every time you see a tattoo and hear profanity escape from someone's lips, and if you unfriend people who are voting differently than you, do us all a favor and take a chill pill. You're too salty if people have to walk on egg-shells every time they are around you. You might be on the spice rack, but you won't be invited to the table.

5. You're too salty if you don't have a sense of humor. A little bit of self-deprecating humor and laughing at the occasional dirty joke goes a long way when it comes to making you an approachable and relatable bloke. If you always take things too seriously and can't laugh at yourself, people will think you're not worth your salt.

6. You're too salty if you think you're better than other people
So what if you go to church every Sunday and never miss a prayer meeting? That doesn't make you better than everyone else. Get down off your high-horse and mingle with the commoners. You might learn a thing or two. Like humility.

7. You're not salty if you're bitter.

Trying to be salty when you have unforgiveness and resentment in your heart is like using a clogged salt shaker. Even though you know it's in there, nothing's coming out. You might be a valuable commodity, but your vessel needs a good cleansing. 

Stay salty, my friends.

"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt that has lost its flavor? 
Can it be made salty again? It is not good for anything except to be 
thrown out and trampled by men." ~Matthew 5:13~

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