As I lay in bed trying to get some rest, something comes to my mind.
This is often how He speaks to me. When I should be sleeping…
“YOU are the salt of the earth.”
Now, pictured in my head, is a scene from “Fireproof” where one of the firemen super glues the salt and pepper shakers together, as a way to depict marriage. They’re not coming apart… clean anyways. But as I think back to the salt, specifically, I notice that it cannot serve its function if all it does is stay in the shaker! Think of what purpose(s) salt serves for a moment.
After all, if we are to be salt, don’t we need to first understand what salt is??
As Matthew 5:13 depicts, salt is meant for flavor. “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”
We should add flavor to the people we come across… but it’s supposed to enhance the flavor of the food, not stand on its own. We’ve all been to that restaurant, or had that relative, whose food was way too salty. Instead of improving the surroundings, it leaves a horrible taste in our mouth!!
But what about the fake stuff?
My old church used to start off the new year with a corporate Daniel Fast, where we detox from salt, among other things. Most of us find substitutes; counterfeit salts to trick our taste buds. Part of me wondered, is it really obedience when, in this day & age, the substitute can sometimes taste better than the real thing? Still, while the fake salts may be able to stand-in for flavor, I wonder how effective they would be in preserving the way real salt does. There’s a reason we can’t shortcut obedience. We’ll miss the mark somewhere else, even if we can fake flavor.
Salt would have to be pressed into the meat to preserve the life of meat from rotting. Not only did it add flavor, but it lengthened the lifespan of what it touched. Do we do this? Get close enough to people that are hurting to actually HELP safeguard or defend?
This brings me to another important function that salt serves.
Think of athletes or people going through rigorous training.
What do they soak in? Salt!
Why? It’s known to purge or cleanse.
Same thing with a “salt water flush” or “cleanse” – it’s meant to purge the colon.
There’s a healing power in salt.
After all, pure salt is not something you can be allergic to because your body needs it. It may be allergic to chloride added to the sodium, but pure salt is a necessity. Since it’s something our body needs, there’s recognition when we taste it. That’s how we should be as salt. Not only adding aroma to augment someone’s experience, but we should be that outward reminder of God’s inner calling to them. We should serve as a moral antiseptic to those around us and the decay that is encroaching on them.
Imitation salts are out there; everywhere nowadays.
While they may appear to have fewer side effects (blood pressure, cholesterol)…. in reality, they’re just less effective!! And when we look closer, a lot of what causes these health problems isn’t pure salt; it’s salt that has been tampered with. Heated beyond recognition where all the beneficial compounds are obliterated. While the effectiveness & benefits remain in pure salt, they’re not found in substitutes or salt that has been altered.
Even in our purest state, we lose effectiveness when we remain in the shaker, too afraid of what might happen to leave our group of salt. We think we’re stronger together, when our flavor is only creating the opposite effect in large amounts. Think of who Jesus touched when He walked the earth. Many of His miracles happened one-on-one, in relationship. Maybe that’s because the presence of salt also helps promote & maintain color.
Some happened in front of crowds, sure, but He separated Himself from the religious folk and left an everlasting impression on those whom He sprinkled with seasoning; the kind of seasoning that added as much flavor as it did cleansing power. And, left behind, there was a brightness His impact left that was visible to others.
I’m not saying jump out of the salt shaker, never to return again.
But just like the image of salt and pepper working together, we would be silly to think we would even have the capability to be salt to someone else if someone didn’t first risk being salt to us.
I don’t know about you, but He’s the kind of salt I want to be.