“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.”
When Jesus said that his disciples were salt of the earth, he was implying something about the earth and his followers. The earth, that is human society, was subject to corruption and decay. God’s people are to function in the earth as elements that would halt the evil process of corruption. Salt has at least three unique qualities.
1. A little salt sets the flavor in food.
Some people place food in a brine of salt. This is called “corning;” allowing food to sit for about 15 to 30 minutes, then rinsing it off until it has lost its saltiness before cooking it. Salt draws out old dead blood and unclean parts of meats and leaves it clean. When it is rinsed and cooked, the flavor is unbelievable.
2. Salt is a preservative. Our ancestors used salt to cure food to be used later. Ham, beef, and salted fish were staples of their diets.
3. Salt has healing properties. It kills most germs on contact. It burns when it hits a raw spot, but is very effective in cleansing a wound so it can heal. “Don’t rub salt in my wounds” is a statement often heard when a PERSON is hurt from good advice.
God’s children exhibit the qualities of salt. We add a better flavor to the life around us. We preserve the good of God’s creation. We bring healing to the hurting people in our community.
Salt is a preserver, sustains the life and quality of whatever it is preserving, but it has to retain its salt-like characteristics to be effective. Salt stabilizes us; prevents us from being blown like the wind.
Salt creates thirst for knowledge, for righteousness, for justice and to see that the world is in harmony with what God has ordained according to His nature which is love.
If we lose the qualities of salt, such as mercy, reconciliation, righteousness, being a peacemaker, being pure in heart—those qualities which are true and genuine—we lose the ability to impact the forces of evil that keep the power of hatred, prejudice, evil, immorality, tensions and divisions in control.
Christ wanted his followers to be in all zones and regions of society dispelling these forces of darkness.
The important quality to note is that salt ought to maintain its basic character. If it fails to maintain its basic character, if it fails to be salty, it has lost its purpose for existence and should be discarded. Let’s be the salt of the earth and impact the kingdom to preserve God’s agenda upon the earth that all people come to know His love through His son, Jesus Christ.
Ben and Wanda Anderson
Pastors, August 2014