5/15/14 Mario about 30
Jesus tells us to be the “salt” of the earth, so “S.A.L.T.” would be a good acronym to use for gospel conversations. The “S” is for “Start” – start a conversation, take initiative, reach out, be deliberate, which is what I did with a young man at the grocery store coffeeshop yesterday. I took the direct approach, asking if I could get his opinion on a question about eternity, which gave me the freedom to sidetrack into other subjects, knowing we would return to our central question. I found out his name is Mario, that he is from Costa Rica, married, with a child on the way. “A” stands for “Ask” – ask good questions. Mario grew up Catholic, but had never been asked or considered essential questions, such as what will he teach his expected child about religion? What does he believe happens after we die? What would be the basis of God’s judgment? or How will he be judged personally? – all questions he agreed are important and should be considered. “L” is for “Listen” – listen proactively, respond to what you hear. Listen for the lead of the Holy Spirit. Maybe it could also stand for “Look” – look for ways God might speak to you into this person’s life and faith journey, because every person has a different story and set of experiences, every person is at a different place in or out of their relationship with God. Mario has simply been concerned about the here and now - paying the bills - but was interested when I began to talk about raising his child and his own long-term future with God. “T” is for “Tell” – tell the good news of the Gospel when people are ready to hear it. After I asked some hard questions about how he would do according to God’s standards such as the Ten Commandments, I had the privilege of telling Mario about the good news of forgiveness through faith in Jesus. I’m not sure where I heard the SALT acronym, but I like it because the emphasis is on the other person and where they are at with God. The Gospel isn’t meant to be a canned speech or a “spiel” – we are talking with fellow human beings who deserve the dignity of being treated as such, to be treated as we ourselves want to be treated. With the truth of the Gospel and the love of God to proclaim it, we can truly be the “SALT” of the earth!