July 16 I Saturday
“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 underfoot.” —Matthew 5:13
As Christians, we are sent by Jesus Christ to share the life-giving wisdom of God’s Word, where His gospel brings about transformation in people’s life. As the salt of the earth, we are to spread all through society. How do we do that? Paul says this of our witness in Colossians 4:6: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Paul is talking about our public witness amongst the culture around us. We should not only have a graceful disposition, where we seek to speak with gentleness and kindness that draws people closer to who God is in Christ, but it should always be seasoned with salt, with the truth of God’s Word and the purifying wisdom that removes the impurity in a person’s life.
But if we are honest, many of us have met Christians who actually reverse the two realities. On the one hand, we may run into someone who is full of salt and very little grace; they are salty Christians who come across as harsh, miserable or judgmental. Just as in cooking, if there is too much salt added, it actually spoils the whole meal; oversalting is the cardinal sin of cooking because we cannot reverse it. If we happen to be the salty Christian, where our only interest is in the purification and the seasoning, we are going to ruin the whole witness and people are not going to be drawn to Christ because we are too busy pounding on what needs to be purified in their life.
On the other hand, Jesus warns about the type of person who has no saltiness whatsoever in their life. The phrase “loses its saltiness” in the Greek is mōrainō, which could also be translated as “tasteless or foolish.” If salt loses its saltiness, it has basically become useless. Salt that was used in the New Testament oftentimes came from the Dead Sea. When the water from the Dead Sea has evaporated, salt crystals emerge; however, the salt has too many other elements—contaminants—for it to be pure salt, which renders it ineffective and unproductive. Similarly, if there is too much “contamination” in our life, we lose effectiveness in our witness. Thus, if we are not a purifying influence in the world, the brutal reality is that we are polluting the culture around us.
As we reflect on this, it is not only important to cultivate purity in our own lives, but also wisdom in using our refined salt to be an effective witness in the world, full of grace with the right measure of salt.
Prayer: Dear God, reveal to me any contaminants that I must get rid of in my life. I want to be Your witness that is full of grace and seasoned with salt. Thank You, God.