Salt has gotten a bad rap in the last few years. High levels of it are thought to cause high blood pressure. Have you ever tried to eat any vegetables or soup without salt? I never realized the importance of salt until my mother started cooking without it. Needless to say, we keep the salt shaker close by when we go there for dinner. Salt is necessary to make food taste its best. Salt is also a necessary nutrient our body needs. But salt needs to be shaken on carefully. Because if you use too much the food becomes inedible.
In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells believers that we are the “salt of the earth”. If we think about this in light of the salt shaker on our table, we can draw a few useful conclusions–
1) The salt is useless if it is in the salt shaker. In other words, if our only circle is made up of Church, Christian Schools, and spending time with our Christian co-workers, we are hanging out in our own personal salt shaker. Don’t get me wrong, my own kids are in Christian school and I know what a blessing church friends and Christian co-workers can be. But are you spending any time getting to know unbelievers? Are you getting opportunities to share the gospel? Do you have some contact with people who do not know the Lord? We cannot reach a lost and dying world, if we have sequestered ourselves in the salt shaker.
2) The salt needs to be shaken on in a small, measured amount. We need to season our speech with comments that lead the discussion towards God. We need to carefully discern the other person’s interest in the things of the Lord, and not come on full blast with heavy doctrinal issues that will make no sense to an unbeliever. We need to take the opportunities God gives us instead of trying to create our own opportunities.
3) We need to season the world, not be like it. It says in Matthew 5:13 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. While I think it is good to have contact with the world and be friends with unbelievers, be very careful, lest you lose your saltiness. If you are becoming like your unbelieving friends in your thoughts and actions, you may have lost your saltiness. If you never feel uncomfortable or never speak up against something they want you to do, you may have lost your saltiness. If you join them in their bad language, coarse joking, and partying, you probably have lost your saltiness. And if you have lost your saltiness, you have become an ineffective witness for Christ, no matter how much time you spend with unbelievers.
4) Salt is a necessary nutrient for our bodies. You cannot eliminate all your sodium intake or you would see very negative consequences. Christians are on this earth for a reason–we should provide light and joy and life to those around us. We should bring a presence of unconditional love, boundless joy, and peace to relationships and situations. If we are criticized or disliked, it should be because of our stand for Christ*–not because we are a hypocrite or talking only of ourselves or causing strife or gossiping about a friend, etc.
May we represent Christ in such a way that we are sprinkled out on the world with grace, with love, with joy, with peace. Always in moderation and with wisdom. May we stand for truth, so that we still provide flavor instead of caving in and becoming flavorless and worth only to be trampled upon the ground. What kind of salt are you?
*2 Corinthians 2:14-15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?