June 26 I Tuesday
“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
Modern cooking and refrigeration conveniences threaten to limit our understanding of what Jesus meant when He called Christians to be “the salt of the earth.” Our main use for salt is to add flavour to food. Being a Christian should bring flavour to our lives as we discover the beauty and vitality of serving the Lord Jesus, but there are other ways that Christ’s life within us makes us as salt in our environments.
In primitive societies, salt was and still is used primarily as a preservative. Meat and fish would be caked in salt to keep from perishing. Scripture speaks primarily of human perishing as a current condition, not a future state. Paul writes in the present tense, “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” but he continues, “…to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). It is the inception of the Holy Spirit that gives eternal life and halts and replaces the process of perishing. We act as salt of the earth when we introduce others to Christ, the source of eternal life.
Salt is also associated with purity in Scripture. 2 Kings 2:19-22 tells the story of a well that held contaminated water. When the prophet Elisha threw a bowlful of salt into the well, the water was purified so the people could drink and the fields be tended. In the New Testament, people were attracted to the purity of Jesus. Genuine purity does not so much expose the impurities of others as raise their sights and stimulate them to seek something better. As we display Christ’s righteousness lived through us, this will attract others to Him.
Finally, salt creates thirst. When people interact with us, they will begin to see Christ-likeness and come away longing for the same sense of security that gives us peace. It is not only what we say about the Gospel that points people to Christ but the quality of life we ourselves have found and enjoy in Him that creates a thirst for God in others.
Salt is valuable because it brings difference to the environment in which it is placed. It brings taste to what is otherwise bland, resists the perishing process, injects purity into decay and creates thirst in those who taste it. To cease speaking and acting in these distinctive ways is to let the world trample us underfoot. We are to resist the ways of the world, but the world itself is our workshop. As we allow Christ’s indwelling presence to equip us to function as salt, our lives, relationships and behaviour will become an exhibit of the Lord Jesus to the world around us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may my words and actions be distinct from the world. Make me “salt of the earth” so that others will see the difference You make in our lives. Thank You, Jesus.