Whenever we sit down to dinner one of the first things my husband always says is, ďPass the salt, please.Ē
Why do we like salt so much?
The answer is fairly obvious, we simply like the way it makes our food taste.
Expert opinion has been divided over the years as to the nutritional value of good old sodium chloride. At times we have been told to limit our intake and yet, at other times, weíve been told itís actually quite good for the body. Some call it ďpoisonĒ, while others say itís a necessary ingredient for life. Iím not sure where public opinion lies right now, but in my house salt is needed and necessary! All right, I know what you are thinking and no, this does not mean I canít cookÖor maybe it does!
In Bible times salt not only made food taste good, but it also kept food from spoiling. In fact, salt was so rare and expensive that the Soldiers in the Roman army received it as part of their pay Ė and they were happy about it!
Furthermore, every sacrifice made to God was sprinkled with salt (Lev. 2:13). Salt, which does not burn, was a metaphor to show the durability of the covenant. Jesus, who is our new covenant, fulfilled the old covenant. And his covenant with Christians will last forever. So itís easy to see that salt, has a history that shows us that it is much more than pepperís popular companion.
The Bible talks of how we as Christians should also be like salt. Colossians 4:6 says: Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
What does it mean to be full of grace, but seasoned with salt?
I always think of people who say words that like salt may sting, but at the same time shows the love they have for us. If they have our best interest at heart, it makes all the difference. This is hard to do; so many times we pour salt on people without the grace. Grace comes before the salt. We really must examine our words to see if they have both grace and salt!
But there is even more to salt! It enhances our foodÖadds zest, right? Food without salt is bland. Christians, who have conversations that are full of grace and seasoned with salt, should be the most exciting people anyone could spend time with. After all, they know and have access to God! How exciting is that?
So how do we become ďseasoned with saltĒ? The answer to that is through Godís word - the Bible.
Although salt was once rare and expensive, itís now quite common and cheap. The Bible also, has gone through price changes.
Depending on where you live, the price of a Bible can be as low as a dollar. In the United States, most families are able to have copies for every member of the household. In other parts of the world the price can be so high a family may struggle to afford even one. However, just as the value of salt for daily living has remained the same across the ages, regardless of the cheaper price so too has the value of Godís word. How blessed we are to live in age where you can find salt or a Bible in any price range.
Why does Paul exhort us to be full of grace, and have words that are seasoned with salt? Well, Paul actually answers that in the same verse by saying that itís so we will know how to answer everyone. The preceding verse in Colossians tells us exactly who it is that we are to be answering Ė and thatís an outsider. Outsiders are people who have yet to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Paul tells us to be wise and to make the most out of every opportunity.
All of us want to be used by God and yet we often struggle with just how to go about it. Yet there is a very easy way for us to be used by God. Itís as simple as talking to the people we meet in our daily lives. As Christian men and women, we all have something very special of which this tasteless and decaying world is in desperate need. We have the ďsaltĒ of Godís Word.
Do you remember how I said in the Old Testament every sacrifice needed to be sprinkled with salt in order to remind them that His covenant would last forever. Well, in the New Testament, Jesus is the sacrifice and Godís word is the salt. So when we share the gospel with people and teach them Godís word, we are sprinkling their lives with salt that will not change but has the power to change them!
Take time to examine your life and consider whether your conversation is full of grace and seasoned with salt: Do you bring zest, flavor and excitement to a conversation? Do you know the salt of Godís word and are you actively sprinkling it the lives of the people you meet. The only way we can be sure of having enough salt to share is if we are taking in daily doses of it ourselves through Godís word! Let God fill your shaker up and get ready to be Godís saltshaker to our world.