Recently, I read how human resilience can be compared to salt. Resilience is the “ability to face reality: to deal with and to grow through life’s challenges.” Like salt, which flavors and preserves the quality of food and helps disinfect harmful materials, resiliency in people enhances, protects and detoxifies their quality of life.
More should be said, but for now, the question in my mind is simply this, “How do we develop resiliency?” Abraham is the first story that comes to mind (See Gen. 22:1, 12) followed quickly by James’ thoughts of trials (Jms. 1: 2-8).
Lately Christian has been struggling with the fact that life requires work if we are going to gain the desired results. For example, this year he did not bring home any blue ribbons from his swim meets. Instead, he brought home reminders of the amount of work he actually put into the event. Similar things are happening with school work. Study rewards with better grades while the lack of study has it’s opposite reward. These are difficult lessons to learn when really all one wants is a place to play and some friends to do it with! 🙂 But the ambivalence he feels is real and deep. He may only wish to play instead of swim extra laps or study a bit longer but nor does he wish to lose or receive low grades.
Apparently, resilience can only be developed in the fire. Jesus tells us as much in Mark 9:49 – at some point or another, we all will face fiery moments, trials designed to test our mettle. Yet, this path is neither straight nor pleasant in most cases. We can bet the path to perseverance and resilience will be marked by pain and uncertainty (and always goodness and mercy).
Here’s what the author concludes:
Resiliency includes three core parts which can be described in terms of the New Testament metaphor of salt.
- Perseverance—inner strength to not give up and to benefit from hardship. Having salt in yourselves—Mark 9:50
- People—social support from/as encouraging role models and true friends. Relating graciously with salt—Colossians 4:6
- Purpose—strong sense of meaning in life and/or strong belief in God’s goodness. Being the salt of the earth—Matthew 5:13
More should be said here but I’ll leave this for now. If you wish to explore Kelly’s thoughts on the subject, click here.