In the first Marinades blog recently, I asked you to consider yourself as a ‘core ingredient’ where the life you lead and the things around you were your own personal marinade. What flavours did you identify? Maybe you were all things sweet and lovely, or perhaps there was a little bitterness or sharpness. Any hot and spicy chilli in there? Or maybe you couldn’t quite tell yet, because your marinade is still being seasoned and shaped by the Word. Truthfully, as women who are on a life journey with Jesus, we are all constantly being changed and transformed – we learn things in new seasons, we become wiser through life’s trials and we exude different things as a result!
However, when we are disciples of Jesus, followers of Him, it doesn’t just stop with us. Our own personal flavour is not just an end in itself. What a waste that would be! We are designed to be in relationship with Him, but also to be in relationship with those around us. We are called to be disciples who make disciples – and this requires authentic, genuine, up-close-and-personal relationships. It requires us to make time for others in our crazy, busy lives. To create space and margin for people to walk with us. To let down our facades and our barriers and instead, be vulnerable and real!
So let me pose another question… what flavour do YOU bring to the marinade that those around you are soaking in? When people spend time with you, what fragrance or flavour are they left with? What brushes off on them? Are you intentionally in relationship with people so that your flavour might, in some way, affect them positively?
We all know people who are just challenging to be around. They whinge and complain about most things, tell you all the problems they can foresee with any given situation, and usually, it all comes back to one thing – them. I don’t know about you, but those conversations are hard work to stay positive in!
But then… THEN there are people in our world who are like a ray of sunshine! They change the very atmosphere when you are around them because of the way they speak life, and show love. In 1 Corinthians 13 the Apostle Paul describes it like this:
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first”, doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. (I Cor 13:4-7 The Message)
Regardless of your personality ‘type’, whether you are introverted or extroverted, what your gifts and talents or area of training might be, what we are each called to be – in love – is light and salt. This is the flavour of the Kingdom. When there is light, the darkness has to go – truth wins. And when there is salt, flavour is enhanced, bitterness is reduced, and preservation happens! Sounds like a core ingredient change to me!
So whatever season of life you might be in, let me encourage you to see the opportunities around you, in your everyday, regular lives to BE love, light and salt. To be intentionally in relationships where your own Kingdom flavour might not just be seen but also be felt.