Salt and this Material World

I walked purposefully towards the little shop, a spring in my every step as my pumps hit the concrete floor. My heart felt like bursting in eager anticipation to what I was going to have – again. But this was not the thrill that I felt as a child when I was about to open my gifts on Christmas Eve. This “high” was different. When the girl in the shop saw me, she was grinning, and reached for something in the drawer. She handed me a small box, saying with a wide smile, “You’re going to love it, ma’am!” I opened the box without hesitation and there they were: the most exquisite set of bluish grey shiny pearls surrounded by diamonds – ring, pair of earrings, and pendant. “Wow! These are gorgeous!” I muttered under my breath, almost whispering in awe.

Standing there in the small jewellery shop, I had “worshiped” a set of pearl and diamond jewelries. It was my nth order of made-to-order jewellery. There were the “eternity” bracelet, sets of diamonds, pearls, and gold, diamond rings, etc. I have certainly forgotten their shapes, colors, and designs. I was a successful business and career woman and I was donning success literally. I shopped as a pastime. I shopped as a therapy. I shopped for no reason at all except for the pure thrill of it.

I saw myself as a microcosm of the real material world. Like me before, the world is hungry for more material things. And the sad part is, it thinks that it is okay. But I’m going to cut to the chase: Can you imagine the Lord Jesus Christ shopping to His heart’s content? Can you imagine Him getting “high” acquiring a new leather jacket, a pair of signature Italian shoes, or picking up a made-to-order diamond-encrusted bracelet? No. Even though He owns “the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Ps. 50:10) and planted the gold in the land of Havilah (Gen. 2:11). Can there be fellowship between the material world and the lowly Savior born in a manger with itchy hay for mattress? What’s wrong with the world anyway? John provides an answer.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17, emphasis mine)

Wait, there is more.

19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (1 John 5:19, emphasis mine)

The whole world lies in wickedness. NIV is more succinct:

19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19 NIV, emphasis mine)

When the Lord called our family to the Church where we are serving Him now, we learned that there would be no wearing of jewelries and the clothing must be decent and modest: long skirts and dresses for the women. Was I disappointed? I was clinging between life and death and all I wanted was Jesus, His salvation and healing. I wanted to be delivered from my fears that were choking me to death. In other words, the least I wanted was disobedience from my part. It was as if my heart was saying to the Lord, “Lord, it seemed good to You to strip me off of my health and strength and mental soundness. There went my work also. You could very well take my whole life in a wink if you chose it. Why would it dismay me that You will strip me off of my jewelries and branded fashion, too? No, Lord. Take everything from me that offends You. I just want You.”

So, ever since I received the Lord Jesus, no jewellery has adorned my body. I worship Him in my modest long skirts and dresses and these don’t mean just a style of clothing. They mean humble obedience before the Lord, meekness and simplicity that honor Him – virtues that come from a surrendered heart made holy by the Savior.

Salt and this material world. Preservative and perishable food. That is what it’s all about. It’s like the “ten righteous” bargain of Abraham with God concerning Sodom. That if there were ever ten righteous found, the whole Sodom and Gomorrah would be preserved from total annihilation. So, now I understand. The Lord had to strip me off of all these worldly trappings to make my preserving power more effective. For there is no salt that is partly sweet or partly sour or partly other. Salt should maintain its 100% saltiness to be effective. And when it is adulterated, how can you make it salty again?

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Mat. 5:13)

How do you adulterate a “salt of the earth”? When he or she compromises with the world and loves the world. I praise and thank God for liberating me from the bondage of materialism. Now, my affections cannot be divided between God and this material world.

(Image taken from here; edited at picmonkey.com).

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Comments

  1. Cynthia Swenson says:

    I came here after reading about the typhoon. I also just read the first verse of Psalm 91 about “dwelling in the shelter of the Most High”. I’m glad your family is safe & assuming your area was not affected badly by the storm. Interesting testimony here & yes, I like to think of people as the precious jewels. Praying for your country, Love, in Jesus, Cynthia

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you for your love and prayers, Cynthia. They are precious. No, our place was not badly affected by the super typhoon. We thank God for His protection. Praying for our beloved countrymen who were.

  2. Hazel Moon says:

    Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story. I do wear modest jewelry at times, and was taught not to wear provocative clothing. When anything including expensive jewelry becomes an idol, then we must examine our motives. Thank you for sharing your story with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

    • RinaPeru says:

      That’s exactly the danger, Hazel, the temptation to fall into idolatry with these material things. So, for me, it’s really a blessing that it’s not allowed altogether.

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