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Vol.  9  No. 6 June 2007  Page 17
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Robert JohnsonXUXU

By Robert Johnson

    The above title looks foreign, and it is. Some friends of ours, who are missionaries in Brazil, told me about it. Xuxu (pronounced zoo-zoo) is a vegetable used primarily as filler. It takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked with, loosing its identity to whatever accompanies it to the table.

    This reminded me of how many people are influenced by the world around them, by whomever they are with. Wherever the wind blows, whichever direction the crowd goes, they follow. They loose their identity to the world around them. Paul spoke of this when he wrote, “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14). Being a Christian means we don’t reflect the world around us, but Christ who is in us (Colossians 1:27).

    To carry the analogy through, we must be distinctive in our influence. We should permeate society, making a difference in the lives of people we contact. “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” (Matthew 5:13). Rather than being like a tasteless vegetable, Jesus needs disciples who possess the quality of being like Christ. “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:34-35).

    It doesn’t take any effort to reflect the world around us. Reflecting the image of Christ, however, takes dedication, commitment and love for our Lord, who made eternal life possible. It’s the only way we can make a real difference in the world, in society and in the people we know. Can others see Christ in you, or do they merely see the world? Are you filler or something fulfilling?

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