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Preserving the Flavor of Saltiness

By Watchman | August 23, 2015

” You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”  (Matthew 5:13)

At first glance at the above text, Jesus seems to be speaking of an occurrence that is nearly impossible.  Salt is a mineral made up predominately of sodium chloride (NaCl), and it is extremely stable.  Salt does not loses its flavor (or saltiness) with age, nor does it go rancid with keeping.  If you’ve ever found a ten-year-old box of table salt in the very back of your top shelf in the kitchen and tasted it to see if it is still usable, then you know this is fact.  So why would our Lord warn His disciples (and us, as well) against losing what should not be able to be lost?

I must have read the Gospel of Matthew thirty times before this question occurred to me, but once in my mind it wouldn’t let go.  A little reading taught me two other facts about salt that can change its nature:

1.   Salt can be so diluted that the important properties it possesses can be neutralized, and

2.   Salt can be contaminated or tainted by contact with other substances that can make it dangerous.

Both of these facts seem self-evident and should have occurred to me without someone bringing them to my attention, but I simply never considered them.    Before I make some comments and obvious analogies about them, I’d like to share some quick truths about salt and why God might liken us to this (now) cheapest and most common of all seasonings.

Salt has thousands of different uses.  It is essential to all animal life, and is one of the basic human tastes.  It has been in use since ancient times; as a matter of fact, the word “salary” comes from the Latin word for salt as the Roman Legions were sometimes paid in salt which was worth its weight in gold. (Source: Wikipedia)

Throughout the ages, salt has been used medicinally in a myriad of ways: as an antibacterial for sore throats and gum abscesses, to ease bee stings and bug bites and to help clear and heal poison oak and poison ivy.  Ever hear someone mention rubbing salt in a wound to express making a painful event more painful?  Actually, that is not why for hundreds of years men would pour salt into the wounds of someone they had injured or lashed; it was really an act of mercy, ensuring that the wounds wouldn’t become infected.  Salt has also been used as a cleanser, removing stains from materials and woods; scouring pots and pans and discolored glass and even helping to pick up spilled uncooked eggs (ask me how I know!).  For thousands of years, salt has been used as a preservative which helps cure meat, keeps milk fresh and prevents mold from growing on cheese.  And let us never forget the use we most make of it today…as a seasoning, to add spice and savor to our foods.  So in what ways can we believers be likened to salt?  Surely we are called to be the salt of the earth just as we are called to be its light!  As representatives of the most high God, we are called to ease the sickness of the spirit that comes to those who have not met Him, and counteracting the poisons that infect the hearts of those who have not accepted the words of the Lord with the antidote of  the love and salvation that only Christ can provide.  We are called to fight evil where we find it so that truth will be uncovered and set free, cleansed of all filth and wickedness; of all that does not come from God.   We are called to help preserve our world as under the authority of the Christ; trying always to keep safe both our own hearts and minds and our ability to help others to reach that place where they will happily and humbly fall on their knees before the Savior.  And certainly, we must be always prepared to be the “seasoning” of life…to uplift ourselves and others in their relationships with family, friends, strangers and with God Himself.  Our words and our lives need to reflect the righteousness of the One who calls us into His service.  One last characteristic of salt I’d like to mention: When you sprinkle salt on your french fries, the salt spreads.  It flavors everything it comes into contact with, and sometimes reaches other foods on your plate you weren’t aiming for. Pray that our words and deeds are flavorful enough to even encourage and spice up those for whom they were not intended!

So, can we Christians lose our flavor, our effectiveness in spreading the love of God?  Yes.  Just as salt can be diluted to the point where it’s of little use as salt yet it is ruinous to the water for human consumption, many people of God and at least as many churches have been diluting the message of the Father in the name of diversity and political correctness.  We can dilute the message through fear of offending those who resent the power and authority of God until we have also lost the chance of bringing others to consume the Living Water that quenches all thirst and heals all wounds.  We can taint or contaminate that message with the poisons of political correctness, with the incorporation of pagan practices and false religions, even by refusing to bow ourselves to the command Jesus gave us to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also.  And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you.” (Luke 6:27-30, NKJV)  We can taint it with seeing no harm in people being “spiritual” rather than “Godly”, a phenomenon rampant in New Age spirituality and occultism.

Are we losing our “saltiness”?  To some extent, I believe we may be.  I would ask you all, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to spend some time in prayer this week, asking God to show you where you stand on the saltiness scale and to shine a light on any area of your spirit where you may not be allowing the Holy Spirit free reign.  I know I will be doing so.  Time is short; but God is still in control.  He loves us, and wants us to live in His will.  May we all truly do so.




Topics: A Special Word for Today, According to Scripture, Current Events and the End of the Age, Just A Thought, Kingdom Living, Salvation | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Preserving the Flavor of Saltiness”

  1. Robert Says:
    August 24th, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Good read, shared.

  2. Shirley Says:
    September 29th, 2015 at 9:16 am

    I read this, wasn’t able to respond at the time. I have read it again and gleaned even more from this message. It really is “food for thought”. I think our present day political correctness attitude is creating a form of fear in us; a fear of offending. Fear is paralyzing. Thank you for not being afraid to publish that which God has given to you! Perhaps this will free many of us from being bound by the fear of speaking and spreading the Gospel in truth and in love.