"Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod." Mark 8:15
It doesn't take much for a little, private issue within a church to expand and cause problems throughout the whole body. Jesus warned His disciples about leaven- or yeast in some translations, because yeast multiplies rapidly. In fact, I remember reading somewhere that if yeast was left to multiply unchecked, it could cover the entire globe in just a matter of days. It multiplies that fast.
For some reason, whenever I think on this issue of leaven within the church, I always think of gossip. Maybe because it's because the rumor mill can multiply an issue before you even know it. All it takes is one person to start a small tale about another, and the rumor mill takes over and spins the issue and spits it out- multiplied many times. I am so very blessed and fortunate to be a part of a church where there really is not an issue (at the moment anyway) with gossip and spreading rumor. And yet, with people always coming and going all the time, we still need to be on our guard for this matter of leaven- because all it takes is one. All it takes is one person to walk in the door and start gossiping, and then someone else, who maybe has never gossiped a day in their life picks up the tale and starts their own trail of gossip.
Then again, leaven can also mean other things of the world that creep into the church doors. And interestingly enough, that can change with different bodies of believers. Leaven speaks about the things of the world entering into the things of God, and spreading. When we see these things happening, it is up to us to take care of it.
“You are the salt of the earth;" Matthew 5:13
Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth, and did you know that salt will stop yeast in its tracks? Yeast and salt do not get along at all- and salt will yield the spread of the yeast- or the leaven. When we are being salty, we are being the righteous and Godly people that we are meant to be. A church that is filled with love and praise and adoration for God and for each other is practicing being salty. A church that loves every single person who walks in the door is halting the leaven before it can even get in the door, because the salt inhibits the yeast from activating.
How cool is that? We don't even really need to DO anything to guard against this leaven. If we just live the life that Jesus meant us to live- loving one another, and loving God- we will naturally be on guard against the leaven of the world. The leaven will not stick around because it will not be comfortable, and it will not multiply even a smidge.
Let's purpose to be salt. Because if we are the salt of the earth, the worldly leaven doesn't even have a chance. We can snuff it out before it can even come out of its container. The darkness will flee if only we will let our lights burn bright.
I choose to be salt.