“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything; except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matthew 5:13
It’s a compliment to be called “the salt of the earth”. People use this term when referring to someone who is faithful, full of great character, adds value to others, and uncorrupted. These type of people just give you the warm and fuzzies and you not only want to be around them, but you strive to be more like them.
Jesus knew exactly what he was doing by choosing the term “salt” in his teachings. In his time, salt was used as a preservative for meats and other foods. It prevented corruption in the food and allowed it to last much longer. It protected the meat from going bad and rotting, which would then make it inedible.
Salt was also used to sprinkle on “grain offerings” made to God in the Old Testament.
“Season all of your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all of your offerings.” Leviticus 2:13
A grain offering was offered as a sign of thanksgiving to God. It also had to be pure, so the salt was necessary for “purification and preservation”. Imagine during these biblical times if people didn’t have salt. It may seem insignificant, but all of the meats would go bad, their grain offerings wouldn’t be pure and acceptable, and they wouldn’t have any salt for the rims of their margaritas. (totally kidding!)
The truths from Jesus’ teaching then is still applicable to us today, because his word never changes and doesn’t lose its power. Here’s what’s up: We live in a tasteless world. We must bring it flavor.
The music blasting from Katy Perry and Kanye West…tasteless.
The clothes sold in stores that cut too low and ride too high…tasteless.
The books promoting sexual fantasies in different shades of a dull color…tasteless.
The television shows glorifying dysfunction, drunkenness, and teen pregnancies…tasteless.
The movies targeting women to see how magical Mike’s moves really are…tasteless.
Are you catching on? This stuff sells!!! Advertisers know it. Producers know it. Designers know it. Just because it’s out there as the “new normal” and “everybody’s doing it” does not make it OK! Common sense can you tell you if something is tasteless or tasteful.
As a follower of Christ and someone who claims Christianity, we are called to be different than the world. God tells us “do not conform any longer to the world, but set yourself apart” (Romans 12:2). We are called to be the SALT of the world. Let me remind you what salt does:
Salt PRESERVES: Am I preserving goodness, honor, justice, mercy, and purity in my culture?
Salt INHIBITS CORRUPTION: Am I restraining the culture’s corrupting influences?
Salt CREATES PERMANENCE: Am I standing for truths that will last forever or change with what’s acceptable in my day and age?
Salt CREATES THIRST: Have I made anyone thirsty for God? Is my conversation “seasoned with salt” or do I overload it with too much and drive people away?
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
God tells us to “season” our conversations with salt. A little salt creates a thirst, a thirst for more. God doesn’t tell us to pour the salt on so thick and heavy that others are completely turned off and never want to try God again!
Be the zest and flavor in the world around you. Spice things up a little bit. You don’t have to be tasteless just because everything else is. Be the salt.