Have you ever thought about the fact that we are called “salt” of the world, rather than “sugar”? Consider the popular philosophy of most churches that they need to sweeten the message in order to reach the lost. They pour verbal sugar down congregants’ throats in order to keep them coming back. Sugar speaks to our fleshly desires, is addictive, and can be very detrimental to health (contributes to obesity, tooth decay, and cancer). Salt, on the other hand, has been erroneously maligned for years. Finally the truth is coming out that salt isn’t bad for you. It is actually beneficial.
In Biblical times, salt was an essential part of life, both seasoning foods and preserving them. If we are salt for the world, then we do the same. We season this sin-filled world with a glimpse of YHWH’s truth, love, and grace through our obedient set-apart lives. We preserve this world by persisting in prayer for it, living a repentant life ourselves, and humbly asking forgiveness for our brothers and sisters. Remember how Daniel prayed, taking responsibility upon himself (“we have sinned” not “they”).
Salt becomes worthless when “outside influences” contaminate it, destroying its usefulness. We cannot be set-apart (the definition of “holy”) when we look, act, talk, and basically live just like the unbelieving world. With those thoughts in mind, review the verses below that we’ve read so often. See them with new eyes. Shalom!
You are salt for the Land. But if salt becomes tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except being thrown out for people to trample on. ~~ Matthew 5: 13
Indeed, everyone is going to be salted with fire. Salt is excellent, but if it loses its saltiness, how will you season it? So have salt in yourselves — that is, be at peace with each other. ~~ Mark 9: 49-50
So every one of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has cannot be my talmid. Salt is excellent. But if even the salt becomes tasteless, what can be used to season it? It is fit for neither soil nor manure — people throw it out. Those who have ears that can hear, let them hear! ~~ Luke 14: 33-35
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ~~ Colossians 4: 5-6 (English Standard Version)