Something's Off

Have you ever taken a bite of something thinking it would taste like one thing and it tasted shockingly different?

When my younger sister and I were teenagers, she decided one afternoon to bake some peanut butter cookies all by herself. I was thrilled. She would have the satisfaction of baking, and mom and I would be content to eat the fruits of her labor.

After declaring her grand intentions, she ventured into the kitchen, got out the mixing bowl, spoons, measuring cups, the recipe, and all of the ingredients.

Next, she preheated the oven and attempted to follow the step by step instructions of our mother's scrumptious peanut butter cookie recipe. Then, after spooning them onto the cookie sheet, she made those famous criss-cross markings with the fork before placing them into the oven.

As the aroma of nutty, buttery cookies wafted through the house, we could almost taste the sweet, golden treats.

DING! The timer announced that the cookies were ready. My sister was so proud of herself. We were proud of her too. They looked and smelled delicious.

But something was off! My mom and I barely got the cookies to our mouths before we were gagging and sputtering. They were so salty your tongue began to shrivel before the cookie ever touched it.

When my sister saw our reaction, she read back through the recipe and discovered she had misread a very important ingredient amount. She read 1/4 tsp. of salt as a 1/4 Cup of salt. Need I say more?

This humorous recipe fiasco illustrates how important following directions is. We also cannot live a life of faith well if we're not using the right amount of God's specified ingredients.

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. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and place it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5: 13-16 ESV).

We, disciples of Jesus Christ, are set apart as salt and light. A balanced blend of both. Too much salt, and the fruit of our lives shrivels up. Too much light, and the good fruit burns up.

So, how can we be sure what we're serving up is mixed properly and well-balanced?

Although we still live inside a fleshly body, when we received Christ as Lord, a very important ingredient was deposited into our spirit. That essential ingredient is The Holy Spirit. His guidance, power, and strength gives us what we need to live a life well-balanced and pleasing to the Lord.

So how do we become a tasteful mix of salt and light in the world?

SALT has the ability to enhance or destroy the taste of foods. Too little salt, the food is bland. Too much salt, the taste is repulsive.

SALT also contains healing properties. Salt draws out infection so wounds can heal. It's not always a pleasant experience, but the healing is worth the few moments of pain.

LIGHT reveals what is hidden in the dark. Too little light and we struggle to see. Too much light and our eyes are blinded.

LIGHT also contains healing properties. Vitamin D, for instance, is an ingredient our bodies must have for strong bones, teeth, and muscles. Sunlight contains vitamin D. Not enough Vitamin D, we can become anemic, feeling tired, weak, and even pain. 

Placing too much or too little emphasis on one or the other will mean something's off.

What are people "tasting" from your life as they get up-close and personal with you? Is your life serving up a well-balanced blend of God's kindness, goodness, and mercy, drawing others into the healing presence of Jesus Christ? Are the luscious fruits of the Spirit, dipped and drizzled with unconditional love, filling you with the pleasing aroma of Christ? Or are we pushing people away from the presence of Jesus because our lives are spiritually out of balance?

Something's really off in our society today, and God's people need to be salt and light more than ever before. Emotionally-driven chaos is never the answer to any kind of unrest. What the world needs right now and every day is real Gospel-driven love, served up to everyone we come in contact with. It's not the color of our skin that God is concerned with, it's what's baking inside our hearts. The only hope we have of turning hearts and minds toward a good, loving, and just God is to be the hands and feet of Christ, living out a balanced life of salt and light, empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

Lord, make my life pleasing to You and tasteful to others. Change whatever's off in me so what I offer to people will cause them to want more of You, not less. Stir up in me what You want others to taste and see. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

O taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).

He is good.
He is good.
He is good!

My Pleasure,

Peanut Butter Cookies 


  • 1 and 1/3 cup  all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

  2. Line baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil, or parchment paper. 

  3. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined.

  5. Mix in peanut butter, then blend in egg and vanilla. 

  6. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined. 

  7. Scoop out approx 2 Tbs. of dough for each cookie. Shape into balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.

  8. Using a dinner fork, press prongs to flatten each cookie ball slightly then turn fork and repeat, creating a criss-cross pattern.

  9. Bake cookies for about 9 minutes. Cookies should be light brown, not golden brown, when removed from oven. 

  10. Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  11. Store in an air-tight container.