SALT for Relationships

Thursday, October 15, 2015

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Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another. 
Mark 9:50

Ever wondered how to keep your relationships from falling apart in a fallen world? With brokenness all around how does one prevent more heartache? Is peace even possible with people? Only if you have some salt.

The concept of salt has been popping up in my Bible study time over the past few weeks. First, it was in a sermon I was listening to by Andy Stanley. Then in Karen Ehman's book, Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All, and then finally in my daily Bible reading {which happened to be Mark}. When I read Mark 9:50 I really started to think. Why does God ask us to have salt in our lives? What does the salt represent? How can we practically put that salty flavor into our relationships in order to preserve them?

It then hit me: Salt is where grace and truth meet. Christ was full of grace and truth. We should be the same. I will probably struggle for the rest of my life on how to have the perfect combination of grace and truth. I just don't do the combo well. I tend to be more grace than truth. Others that I know tend to be more truth than grace. Some totally lack grace. Others, the truth. Somehow there is a happy medium, but it takes wisdom to know what to do in each situation. Here's a few thoughts on how to muddle through using salt (grace and truth) to improve our relationships...

Salt preserves. We can hang onto our relationships if we use a little grace and truth. When someone is being critical or condemning sometimes the best avenue is grace. Not defending yourself. Walking away from the fight until you both cool down. Lavishing love on them regardless of the behavior. Yet, truth preserves also. Sometimes you need to be honest with someone in a loving way about how his/her behavior is affecting you. Being honest may save the relationship in the long run instead of boiling on the inside and exploding. Once you explode in anger there may be no saving it.

Salt heals wounds. It prevents infection. It draws out the unhealthy. At times you may need grace and love to heal a wound. A gentle touch for the hurting. Other times to stop the spread of an infection you might need to stop a gossip or speak up on someone's behalf. It will be truth staring them in the face if you do that. Sometimes the truth stings {just like pouring salt on a wound}, but better to stop the ick before it spreads.

Salt melts ice {and cold hearts}. Grace can melt a hard heart. Loving on an unlovable person can eventually soften them, but so can truth. How about a truthful apology? When we own {truly confess} what we have done to another in heartfelt repentance and with a willingness to restore the relationship, we can melt the heart of our offended brother/sister.

Too much salt and you ruin your recipe. Too much grace? You are going to get stomped on. Then you are going to get mad to the point that the relationship may be done. Too much truth? You are going to stomp on another person. He or she may walk away never to return. Too much of one or the other may spoil the relationship.

We need salt: grace and truth to navigate our relationships. It is my prayer for all of us that we have the salt we need to create and maintain those links with the ones we love.

To read more of the series 31 Days of Hope and Healing, click here.


Amanda Farmer said...

Good thoughts on grace and truth!

Debbie P said...

Thanks, Amanda!