Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
What exactly did Jesus mean when He commanded us to be the salt of the earth? To try and understand, we need to take a look at what salt was used for in His day. Scholars have identified no less than eleven functions for the use of salt. I won’t list them all. It was so highly valued in Jesus’ day that the Romans sometimes paid their soldiers with it. That is probably where we got the terms “he is not worth his salt” and now we might say “they are the salt of the earth”. It obviously was something highly valued and used in their world.
The biggest things salt was used for were as a preservative, an antiseptic, as a fire catalyst, as a fertilizer, and as a seasoning agent. Good Biblical arguments could be made for all, but I think Jesus’ main point was that of the last one. The next question is how are we to be salty?
Salt obviously improves the taste of whatever it is put on; at least in the right amounts. That will be the subject of another study. How much is too much? Once you put salt on something, no one ever says “hey, that is great salt”. They say “that food really tastes good”. The idea here is that we are to be salt for Christ’s kingdom. We should enhance its flavor. We should preserve His message. We should keep His Word from being spoiled. Do you get the metaphors? Our lives should be such an example of Christ’s love and mercy that it makes those who see it in you to want to know more about this Jesus you serve. We should enhance His flavor. Is your neighborhood, your schools, your town, your family, and your kids lives better because you live for Christ for all of them to see.
My life did not and my family, my kids, and my personal life suffered because of it. But that is a book called “Journey to Repentance”. Likewise our communities and our country has suffered because not enough Christians have been salt to their world. Christians have lost their saltiness. We see where it has gotten us.
Sadly too many Christians are not affecting anyone around themselves in a Christ-Like manner. When Christians allowed Christ to be taken out of the schools, politics, and news media righteous decisions left as well. Our country has suffered for it. Now the attempt is to take Christ out of the holiday called “Christmas”. Christians need to be the salt and spread the salt of Christ on our society again. The question is how do we do that? Are we doing it in the right way? I have some thoughts on that, but that is not our subject today. I’ll save that for another study.
I’m afraid that too many Christians want to spread sugar on the world instead of salt. We want to make everything sweet to the taste. I think we have lived that way far too long. We think if we spread sugar instead of salt, no one will accuse of being judgmental or lacking in tolerance. We have been way too tolerant of allowing immorality into our own lives and into our countries governing values. We are called by Jesus to be salty. We are to improve the taste of this world, not to sugar coat it. We don’t want to ruffle any feathers. Salt has a bite to it. It also has an antiseptic value as well; to bring healing from the infection of the sin in our lives. Too often we have bite and forget the healing qualities of being salty. We are quick to condemn; not as quick to love. I have personally experienced this with the sin confessed in my own life. Again, a subject left to my book.
Jesus gives us a Word of warning here as well. He warns us against the consequences of not staying salty. How can salt lose its flavor? Well, today it cannot. In Jesus’ day, though, it could. Salt was not refined; meaning the other elements in it were not taken out. So, over time, the salt could be washed out leaving the other elements and losing its saltiness. Jesus called us to stay salty; not to become salty. It is likely Jesus was only making a point here to His desciples. Bible scholars I have studied say literally the word translated “tasteless” (moraino) means “to become foolish). Jesus is probably telling His desciples if you don’t live your lives as the salt of the earth and claim to be Christians; they would be making fools out of themselves.
Unfortunately, I believe this is where too many Christians are failing. They are quick to call themselves Christians, but no salt can be seen in them. Too many of us have become fools to the world. Claiming to be something and not living like it. Then Christ’s name is taken out of almost every aspect of our society. Too many Christian’s lives are walking contradictions. My life has been just like this in the past. My family saw it, my kids saw it, and others saw it. The world sees this and then we are called “hypocrites”.
Jesus says, when this happens, we are not any good for anything. I think He meant that we are no longer any good for the kingdom of Christ. It doesn’t mean we lose our salvation as some denominations preach. It does mean, though, that our usefulness to His kingdom is gone. It means we are no longer fulfilling the purpose He set out for us. In Jesus’ day, when salt lost its saltiness, it was spread upon the ground to harden the soil where people then trampled upon it with their feet. What a metaphor for us as Christians. Salt has a hardening affect on dirt. It is used today for snow and Ice as well.
How do we stay salty for Christ? I think it starts with daily choosing to walk with Him, being honest with Him, confessing our sins to Him, and then living our lives in daily submission to Him. We must then truly repent of those sins and not just give it lip service. Make a conscious decision each day to live your lives as examples of Christ. I think we forget and too often it takes some tragedy in our lives or losing our Christian values in our society to wake us up to the fact that we have lost our saltiness. I think it starts on your knees in confession to an all powerful and all merciful God who loves us and wants us to live our lives like we love Him. I think we lie to God, to ourselves, and to the world. We need to live Godly lives and I believe in starts within our own hearts. Being honest with ourselves and with God first; “No More Lies”. Then we can live our life in front of the world with the saltiness He called us to live with.
No More lies
No more lies!
No more pretending
Why I cry.
Not for what I’ve lost.
My greatest gift.
It’s just a lie.
I cry for my sin.
I cry for where I’ve been.
I try to say goodbye.
My ghost won’t let me slide.
As hard as I might try,
I can’t make right all the lies.
They always come back to me.
They tell me more and more lies.
I must tell the truth.
I’ve done this since my youth.
Though only in my mind,
It brought pain to human kind.
I know God can forgive.
My guilt will no longer live.
Crying won’t clear my name.
I will no longer bear the pain.
There will be no more shame.
No more will I play this game.
No more pretending!
No more lies!
No more wearing a disguise!
No more living in my sin.
I have come to my end.
Now I believe in Him.