I was so disappointed to watch the video of the young man in Dallas who punched two young women who confronted him after their car was sideswiped by his vehicle. With limited information from the news outlets, it appears that he allowed his anger to control his actions. Now he’s going to suffer the consequences of a bad decision rooted in rage. He could have easily approached the young women and had a conversation, walked away, or even waited on the police to complete a report. I’m sure that he had no idea that his decision would go viral, and many would witness his poor judgment and bad behavior.
Instead, he made a decision that will have life-altering consequences such as a criminal record, possible fines, and jail time. He’s not the only one who makes rash decisions based on emotions. We all, at some point in our lives, have allowed our emotions to take control. In retrospect, I know that I wish I had stepped back, and allowed myself to process the situation and breathe without immediately doing something. Sometimes we need to learn just to ‘be’ without always feeling the need to respond.
I don’t think we realize how often we are being watched. People pay attention to our actions every single day. Whether it’s our social media posts, the way we interact with others, or even when we are out with friends having a good time, we are constantly being viewed—even when we don’t realize it. We don’t realize that we are representing ourselves, our families, and even the offices/positions we hold. It’s important that in a world that glorifies bad behavior and rewards it with media attention, we should remember that we are called to a higher standard.
The Bible is very clear regarding the ways in which we are to present ourselves: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:13-16.
In a world that has so much darkness, many of us are dimming our lights to be accepted.
So why are we not called to be like pepper? Pepper is often used as a cover up. “It offers bitter notes as well as pungency (literally an irritation of the tongue), both of which serve to keep lush textures and flavors from seeming too cloying.” Our purpose is not like that of pepper. There is a reason that we are called to be like salt.
Salt tends to be elemental. “Salt acts as a preservative by drawing moisture out of food. Many disease-causing microbes are also simply unable to grow in the presence of salt.” It enhances texture, has flavor, is a binding agent, and maintains color. There is a reason that we are called to be salt and light. Each stands out. Salt rids dis-ease. We are to be problem solvers. We are to connect to others in love and to be recognizably different than the crowd.
I only wish that the young man in the altercation realized that his purpose is so much greater. If he understood his value and the value of those young women, he would have made different decisions. Recognize that you are designed to not look down on others but to provide your unique God given flavor to enrich and enhance those around you.