I made a peppered salt discovery.
“How did pepper get into the saltshaker?”
I headed toward the kitchen to check out my mother’s exclamation. She thrust the saltshaker toward me with a scowl. The tall glass container was half-filled with salt, but as I twirled it, five or six large pepper flakes appeared. When I gave a closer look at our strange discovery, I saw each pepper flake had wings.
As summer faded into fall, a large bowl of fresh fruits and veggies found a permanent spot on the countertop. I noticed the rotating collection seemed to invite and sustain a singular fruit fly. This little gnat-like guy swooped and dived away from my best attempts—using hand, kitchen towel, or spatula—to annihilate him. Because he was aggravating, but small and alone, it didn’t seem to matter much, so I quit my killing advances. It became easy to ignore him, and just let it go . . . like matters in life.
Sometimes a sin or a little misstep seems so small we convince ourselves to stop trying to kill it. Whether it’s telling a white lie, cutting out of work thirty minutes early, or sharing a tidbit of pure gossip, we stop swatting, ignore it, and just let it go. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.
The writer of Hebrews urges us to swat those gnats. He writes:
Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.~Hebrews 12:1b NKJV
The “peppered” saltshaker remained on the counter for another month, acting as a cheap and eco-friendly means of solving the attempted fruit fly takeover. All guests were appropriately warned lest they grab it to add flavor to their fresh tomato or sprinkle the peppered salt on their ear of sweet corn. Plus, its presence provided an interesting story to share in disregard to that age-old warning about catching more flies with honey.
While our evidence pointed to only one little bug flying around the kitchen, the fifteen-to-twenty winged carcasses rolling around in the small sea of salt proved how quickly things can add up, sins included.
Leaving the contaminated saltshaker on the counter reminded us that one small compromise with evil in any area of our lives is too much compromise for those of us who want to be filled with joy and known for our integrity.
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD …they do not compromise with evil.~Psalm 119:1-3 NLT
Like the winged flecks of pepper ruined the entire salt container, a tiny bit of sin can taint our witness and our lives. Don’t try to hide or ignore your sins in a pretty shaker of salt.
He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.~Proverbs 28:13 NKJV
Evaluate your life, looking closely for any small sin that could be hiding in the saltshaker of your life. Just because you choose to ignore it does not mean God does. Unaddressed sins add up to many and ruin your joy and integrity. Confess early. Confess often.
What are areas in which you’ve allowed compromise to linger?
Father God, make known to me those questionable areas I’ve chosen to ignore. I confess all my sins to You and ask You to create a clean heart in me once again. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright2022: The Peppered Salt Discovery: Cynthia Mendenhall: All Rights Reserved