“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? [Matthew 5:13, AMP]
Apart from water, the most commonly used ingredient for cooking is salt. Salt is important in most culinary applications because, without it, most foods would either taste bland or would not have all of its flavors coming through, the way it ought to. Salt is so present in most homes that we often don’t think about it and its benefits until we don’t have it. The Lord Jesus during His sermon on the mount did not liken us to salt but called us salt. He did not say that “You are like salt”, rather He said, “You are the salt of the earth” [Matthew 5:13, KJV]. Has it dawned on you, and have you accepted the fact that YOU ARE SALT to your world?
What does it mean for you as a Christian, to be salt? Salt is what gives life to food. Even those who don’t eat salt due to medical reasons, know that food without salt, does not taste the same as food with salt. The inherent properties of salt, allows it to enhance the flavor of anything it is found in. Your inherent properties as a born-again Christian confer to you things such as “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” [1 Corinthians 1:30, KJV]. Not only that, He gave us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us, and to lead us; the extraordinary strategist through whom we can do all things. Through the Holy Spirit, certain seeds were deposited in us such as, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, tolerance and self-control” [Galatians 5:22, Phillips], which you ought to bring to the fore. How are you using these things in you; the salt properties in you, to bring life and enhance the flavor of the world you live in? Is your world (sphere of influence) and the world in general, being imparted and upgraded due to your life, or is it your world and the world impacting you?
Another use of salt is to act as a preservative, especially in areas without reliable electricity supply. Growing up, my grandmother would soak fish in brine, place them on mats and put the wet salted fish on the metal roof for a couple of days. Being in the tropics, it would take about 3 days to a week, for all the moisture to evaporate, leaving behind salted fish. This fish could be stored unrefrigerated for weeks, without spoilage. In the world of Food Science, this is called preservation or shelf life extension. Aside from giving life, salt also preserves life. As a Christian, the lives of those around you ought to be preserved. Through the Gospel you preach; either with your mouth and with your life, the way you intercede for those around you and the activities you carry out as a Christian, lives can be saved and preserved. Have the lives of those you have come into contact with, been preserved since they met you. How many of those in your circle have been translated from the “control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” [Colossians 1:13, AMPC]? How many have been snatched from the broad way that leads to death, to the narrow way that leads to life? How many souls have been saved by your diligent care, love and shepherding of those whom you led to the Lord Jesus Christ?
Often when I am cooking and the water or oil is taking too long to heat up, I sprinkle in some salt to speed up the process. The same principle is applied in very cold areas where ice needs to be thawed. Adding salt reduces the heating temperature of the liquid, causing it to boil or fry faster. Similarly, sprinkling salt on ice, reduces the thawing temperature, causing it to thaw faster. Without the activity of salt, these processes would take longer, leading to a waste of time, money, energy and resources. It is not God’s desire that any man should perish, and that is why we are still here on the earth as salt. We are the living and breathing testament to God’s love, goodness, and mercy to our world. As a chosen generation and royal priesthood, we speed up the rate of salvation of our world by the way we live. Apostle Peter cautions us, “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives” [1 Peter 2:11-12, MSG]. We are the reason men ought to come to know the Lord, and not to the reason for them to blaspheme the name of God [Romans 2:24].
Yet, this can happen when we as salt, lose our flavor and we fail to function according to the purpose for which we have born for. The Lord Jesus asks, “If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?” [Matthew 5:13, MSG]. Recently I noticed that the typical iodized salt I have been buying now had other ingredients such as dextrose (sugar) and calcium silicate in there. The reason I noticed it was because the salt did not taste as salty as it used to; I had to add more of the “salt” to taste the saltiness. When our lives become adulterated with ungodly lifestyles and unrighteous living, then our saltiness diminishes, till it gets lost. When I noticed this with the salt I had, I switched over to sea salt, which didn’t have the aforementioned extra ingredients, and quickly threw the other salt in the trash can. Jesus says, if you don’t function as salt, “You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage” [Matthew 5:13, MSG]. Another translation says, “It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery]” [Matthew 5:13, AMP].
As Christians, we ought to be salt to our world. After all, what use is it if we choose not to? There is only one thing for us to be, and it is to be who the Lord Jesus says we are, and He says “You are the salt of the earth”.