Life Lessons

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matthew 5:13

I am not quite sure why, but the other day I saw a little girl having the time of her life evidently, with her own pack of chewing gum. First it was one piece and another and so on, until I heard her mother say, “you chew it all now there’ll be nothing left for later.” I nearly laughed out loud when I saw her reach in and stretch it out of her mouth as far as it would go. And then it happened! Smack! It broke into and now gum is in her hair, on her chin, and stuck to her fingers. Bummer!

Maybe I was just at the right place to see it all but maybe it was where I needed to be. Kids are God’s living illustrations to life.

Here are a few random thoughts that came out of the moment.

Don’t Get Stuck.
Sometimes we get stuck in our spiritual walk. We have times where we just get in a rut. We kind of get stalled and it seems like nothing is going to work to fix it. We may not be spending time in God’s Word or we may be reading our Bible on a regular basis but we aren’t getting anything out of it. It’s like stretching out chewing gum. Why do kids do it? Chewing gum was meant for one thing only. Chewing!! Our walk with the Lord is for one thing only, to bring us closer to Him

Don’t Lose Your Flavor.
Gum is only tasty those first few seconds that you put it in your mouth. It loses its flavor really quickly. How about you? Do you feel like life has chewed you up and made you lose your desire to serve the Lord? Infuse some flavor into your life by getting back to walking and talking with the One who can sustain you. Read your Bible more. Pray more. Draw closer to the Lord and allow Him to encourage you and breathe new life into you.

We have to make a difference in this world. Remember what Jesus said about being the salt of the earth in Matthew 5:13.…but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?…

Don’t Pop!
Have you ever been going along in your walk with the Lord and all of a sudden someone or outside forces brings you down? The air goes out and you deflate.

I’ve had that happen to me and it can really bring you low. I think that’s when we have to learn to keep our eyes on eternal values. We can’t allow other people or circumstances to pop our bubbles. We have to just keep on doing what we know is right and serving the Lord to the best of our ability.

We can also pop when we get too busy with life and forget to slow down. There is so much wisdom in that old phrase, “learn to take life one day at a time”

Don’t be Distracting.
Gum in someone’s mouth can be the most distracting thing. It can annoy us. It can throw us off focus. How about us? Are we living in such a way that we distract the cause of Christ? Do we bicker, gossip, and act unbecoming as a Christian?

Don’t be a stumbling block for others to reject Christ or for other Christians to falter in their Christian life. We have to keep our attitudes in check. We have to keep our tongues in check. We have to show the love of Christ.

Don’t Get Stuck to the Bottom of Someone’s Shoe.
Recently I got out of the car at Walmart and stepped in some gum. It was a little warm and that gum stuck to my shoe big time. I tried wiping it off by rubbing my foot in the little grassy area by the car and scraping my shoe on the cement but it just wouldn’t come off.

As I went on my way my foot kept sticking to the floor everywhere I went. I have to tell you that that sticky gum put me in a bad mood. I hate going to Walmart anyway but I just needed a couple things so I stopped there while I was out. By the time I left I was pretty cranky and out of sorts.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I realized that I had just let a little wad of gum spoil my day and cause my whole outlook to change. I was in such a good mood when I pulled into the parking space.

I had allowed that insignificant sticky gum on the bottom of my shoe to determine the direction for my day—that direction being a pretty miserable attitude.

I know I need to not allow circumstances or other people to control how I act. That day with the gum on my shoe, I had to stop right there and ask the Lord to forgive me and my attitude.

I think when we become that person with the bad attitude and the grumbling spirit; we end up being the gum stuck to someone else’s shoe. We start annoying them. We start being the thing that makes other people cranky and out of sorts.

Don’t Become Ugly.
Chewing gum comes out of the package all fresh and new. It looks nice. It smells nice. Look what happens when it gets chewed though. Chewed gum is just plain ugly.

It actually becomes little wads of ugly. We have the potential to become little wads of ugly too. As Christians, we have to continually allow the filling of the Holy Spirit and be sensitive to God’s leading or we will become dried out, ugly, and stuck to the bottom of a chair somewhere.

Don’t you love being around new Christians? They are full of life and eager to learn and serve the Lord. They are fresh and new and just out of the package.

Conclusion: I hope I can avoid some of the pitfalls of being gummed up in my life. I don’t want someone to look under a desk someday and find me in a wad, dried out, and stuck fast. I know I need to start by drawing closer to the Lord. Ever soaked a jar to remove a stuck label? That is what soaking in God’s Word can do for us. It can break us free.

God’s Word is like that Goo Be Gone stuff. It has the power to release us. It can help scrape us off of the ledge. It has the power to move us and get us unstuck.

When we are stuck and gummed up it clogs up the wheels of the cause of Christ. I want my life to count for the Lord. I want to make a difference. In order to do that I have to remember that the Christian life is all about being that salt and light of the earth.

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