After last week’s discussion about the 5 different kinds of tastes our mouths are capable of distinguishing, I wanted to dive a little deeper into one of those distinctive flavors and talk about what it means to be Salty Christians.
I’ve been fascinated by salt ever since our weekly meal delivery system included an article on how important it is. The article said we shouldn’t just assume it was an optional seasoning because it does so much for food. Salt has many nuances and uses.
It enhances both the flavor and the aroma (remember when we talked about smell?) of food, can be used as a preservative and a tenderizer, tempers sweet, and blocks bitterness. It is essential to the proper functioning of our bodies but too much can be damaging. Salt was used in the ancient sacrificial system eluding to some elements of sealing covenantal agreements. It was also a valuable commodity and sharing one’s salt with another symbolized the bonds of friendship and peace sealed by hospitality in sharing a meal.
Not least of all its important aspects, Jesus calls Christians to be the salt of the earth.
“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.”
If you’ll allow me, I’d like to put on my #WordNerd hat for just a moment. The word translated to saltiness in this verse is the Greek word “halas.” In addition to the literal translation of salt, figuratively this word carries the meaning of prudence or wisdom, good judgment, and common sense. We know that God is truth and wisdom and through His Word and by His Spirit, we are filled with His wisdom.
Just a few short verses later in Matthew 5, we come to my verse for the year that talks about why we are to SHINE or be the light or be salty Christians… “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)” Only when we are filled with God’s wisdom and truth, only when we are salty Christians, can we glorify God in a way that is of eternal worth.
You see, our saltiness, the wisdom God gives us through faith, preserves us unto eternal life.
Can Salt Lose Its Saltiness?
Jesus clearly admonishes His disciples to maintain their saltiness and warns us we are no good if lose our flavor.
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.”
However, as I was researching for this post, I came across a scientific paper stating salt cannot actually lose its flavor. But by mixing it with too much water, its flavor can become imperceptible to our taste buds.
God’s wisdom is eternal. It cannot be taken away or added to. But we can absolutely water it down. And then it is no longer good for anything.
Have you ever encountered watered down truth?
Can We Be Too Salty Christians?
We don’t always associate being salty with pleasant people, but Jesus told us we are to be the salt of the earth. So what gives? As it has with many other biblical concepts, the world has turned the idea of being salty on its head. The urban dictionary says it means to be angry, agitated, or bitter. Not a compliment. Not attributes one would hope to associate with Christians. Salty sailors tend to say exactly what’s on their mind and those thoughts often destroy the peace.
Salt is a tricky seasoning. Some is necessary, but too much is trouble. Too little salt impairs brain function and obliterates energy levels. Too much salt dangerously expands arteries, raises blood pressure, and can damage kidneys.
Just like too much SHINE can blind people, too much salt is no good either. Literally or figuratively.
Have you ever met a too salty Christian?We don’t always associate being salty with pleasant people, but Jesus told us we are to be the salt of the earth. So what gives? #5senses #experiencegod #saltyChristians Click To Tweet
Paul gives us the recipe for perfectly seasoning ourselves.
“Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
God is wisdom and truth and law. But He is also grace and love and gospel. If we blast others with truth we become the bad kind of salty. But when we temper our truth with grace when discussing God with other Christians or those who don’t know Him yet, we become more effective witnesses. We become appropriately salty Christians. So let’s use wisdom and discernment as we guide others through their experiences with God.
Perfectly Salty Christians pair wisdom and grace, truth and love, law and gospel.Perfectly Salty Christians pair wisdom and grace, truth and love, law and gospel. #5senses #experienceGod #saltychristians Click To Tweet
My friend Sarah Geringer wrote a great post a while back about the virtues necessary to be salt and light Christians. I know she’d love it if you popped over and checked it out.
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again?
Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Is the idea of salt meaning wisdom new to you? Will this change the way you approach your call to be a Salty Christian?
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope