Breaking Down Walls
Tomorrow we launch our Seek First collection, inspired by Matthew 1-7. In this new collection, we have a Walk In Grace Matthew 1-7 journal, a Sermon on the Mount verse card set, and a “Seek first the kingdom” pen coming to the shop! Be sure you’re subscribed to our email list so you’ll receive all of the exciting launch details straight to your inbox! Jessica's article about breaking down walls is based on a passage found in Matthew.
Salt of the earth
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matt. 5:13).
One of my favorite snacks is chips and guacamole. Sometimes in the afternoon, I slice an avocado, mash it with a fork (but not too much, because I like my guac chunky!), add a bit of lime and cilantro, and eat to my heart’s content. After living in Mexico for two years, I am a little snobby about my guacamole. One of the biggest things that can make or break guacamole is the salt content. If there isn’t enough salt, the flavors don’t reach their full potential, and you’re left with a bland, mushy dip, which isn’t appetizing to anyone.
Breaking Walls Down
Many of us assume that salt enhances flavor, but what really happens is "the releasing of flavor by breaking the cell walls in vegetables, fruits and meats. This allows us to enjoy the natural flavor of foods. As the cells break down, this process releases the unique aroma and flavor in food.”1
Think about this for a minute. Salt doesn’t just enhance the natural flavor of food; it breaks down cell walls. As believers, we carry the presence of Jesus wherever we go. We have the gift of his Holy Spirit, who dwells within us. This means when we interact with others who do not know him, the Holy Spirit within us can break down the walls they have put up around their hearts.
The Problem with Survival
In the world we currently live in, it’s not hard to find bad news. We don’t have to search for heartache and trouble. It is now 2021, and we are still living in “unprecedented times.” Many of us are looking at the news and the world around us wondering, “When will it end?” As we watch things go from bad to worse, we may be tempted to approach our lives with a survival mode attitude. We’re just trying to make it through.
When operating out of survival mode, there is not much room for thinking of others. We look out for our own interests instead of looking to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). But Jesus offers a different and better way.
Breaking Down Walls with God’s Love
Three years ago, my husband and I intentionally stepped into hard and unconventional circumstances as we began our foster care journey. As foster parents, my husband and I welcome vulnerable children from hard places into our home. We are far from perfect and have much to learn. Our biggest hope and prayer is that the children who walk through our doors find a safe place to land, no matter how long the season.
We pray that the love of Christ within us will break down their walls, soften their hearts, and bring hope and healing for years to come. Through the years, we have learned that trauma inflicted through relationship must be healed in relationship. When someone has wounded a child, the way to heal the scars is within a healthy relationship where the child can unlearn lies and learn the truth.
You may not be a foster parent. But chances are, there is someone in your life who needs their walls broken down and their rough edges smoothed out by the love of Christ. There may be a lonely neighbor, an estranged family member, or a coworker who needs the tender love of the gospel to bring hope where they thought there was none.
Breaking Down Walls with Truth
Through the last year, we have all endured a collective experience of trauma. We watched as the world literally stopped when the pandemic first hit. We have seen racial tensions skyrocket and political unrest like never before. As we have continued to watch the pandemic affect every area of our lives, we have wondered if there is an end in sight or hope on the horizon.
Our world, nation, communities, and families are in need of the truth. They are in need of the salt of the earth to break down the walls and push past the lies in order to walk in truth. We carry the truth, and it is up to us to bring it to others (Romans 10:14). Things are different right now, and it may be difficult to gather together in community as we have in the past, but the Church of Christ that has been built on the rock will stand (Matthew 16:18). Nothing can prevail against the body of Christ when we are rooted in him.
Embracing the Uncomfortable
We may be tempted to fight for every sense of self-preservation we can get right now—make sure we have enough toilet paper and canned goods, keep our families safe and secure no matter the cost. But God asks us to make ourselves uncomfortable for his glory. When we are the salt of the earth, we choose to enter into the hard places with others and watch as God strips them of their walls. Our healing comes when we enter into others’ pain and suffering (Isaiah 58:7-8).
So sister, in the midst of this broken world that has lost all its flavor, let us be the salt of the earth. Let us walk in a manner worthy of the calling of Christ (Ephesians 4:1). May we be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, who brings life where there was death, and hope where there was none.
Your friend, Jessica