"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?" (Matthew 5:13)
You and I, as Christians, are called the salt of the earth because our lives enhance and give meaning to this existence we call life. Before salvation, we were like grains of sand, too numerous to count. But after receiving Christ, we were transformed - no longer like minuscule debris of rock having little or no difference from another lost piece of sand, to something distinctive in taste, texture, and aroma.
It may be an odd analogy, but Jesus compared believers to salt for a reason. Salt is a dietary mineral, used for flavoring and preservation - needed by all known living creatures. If abused, it can be harmful. However, it is also detrimental to have no salt intake because it regulates the water content in our bodies. Jesus used salt to describe how Christians are needed to bring balance and hope to an otherwise dying world.
The question He asked however is, "What good is salt if it has lost its flavor?" In other words, if a Christian has lost his or her gusto and fervor, then what's the difference between the old grain of sand they once were and the so-called salt they are now? The answer is: very little.
Because of recent circumstances in my life, I pondered this scripture differently than I have before. Trials can cause us to become weary if we're not careful. And just like salt can become diluted in water, Christians can become diluted (or altered) by their experiences.
For example, what we believed before a traumatic event is sometimes not the same as afterwards. Why is that? There could be many reasons, but the most common is depression, fatigue, self-doubt, and ultimately reservations about what we believed in to begin with. And we have to clearly understand there is an enemy at work in these cases. If we are the salt of the earth and it's possible to lose our flavoring, then it's no secret the Devil will do his best to make sure our effectiveness (our flavoring) isn't what it used to be. And if he had his way in every case, we'd have no flavoring left at all - returning to transparent grains of sand with no threat to him or his kingdom.
Jesus said, "Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another." (Mark 9:50)
Consider this: the sea is full of salt but it is only extracted through the process of boiling (removing the water to retain the salt). I don't like the idea of going through fiery trials, but if that's what it takes to recapture the "salt" in my life, then maybe I'm okay with that. What I've learned is that God is not the destroyer in this life. He said the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10) God is not the thief. God is the "Restorer" of broken lives and broken hearts.
The boiling process will either prove or disprove the amount of salt contained in a substance. In the same way, the trials of life will either prove our lives are flavored by God or they will reveal how much we truly lack. Either way, if handled correctly, the end result can be beneficial. For the one, their revelation of Jesus Christ and His grace and faithfulness will increase; for the other, a realization of their small faith can push them to a deeper relationship with God because despite their lack, He remains faithful. The only problem is: God has left the "salt containers" (you and I) to decide.
"So dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad - for these trials make you partners with Christ [and what He went through], so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world." (1 Peter 4:12-13)
I have learned I can’t always control the trials I face, but I am the keeper of my "salt." Will I be bitter or better? Less seasoned or more flavorful? Will I disappear into the background or stand out as an overcomer? Because in the end, what good am I if I've lost my flavoring?
Copyright © Daphne Delay. Used by permission.
A person or group of people of great kindness, reliability, or honesty.
‘your old man was the salt of the earth’
- ‘It was a fantastic night, the staff were so nice and the other punters were the salt of the earth.’
- ‘I grew up in a small Australian country town and I have since then seen quite a bit of country people both in Australia and the USA and I have no hesitation in saying that to my mind country people are the salt of the earth.’
- ‘Life in Salford was rough, though the people were marvellous, the salt of the earth.’
- ‘I have nothing but respect for lower league fans - they are the salt of the earth as far as football support is concerned.’
- ‘He was the salt of the earth, a man who was very obliging and very quiet.’
- ‘There is always more to learn, and like vegetable growers, flower growers are the salt of the earth, always willing to share what they know.’
- ‘Perennially cheerful, Vera is the salt of the earth.’
- ‘John was the salt of the earth and a very sociable animal, well known in the Old Oak and Mill Tavern.’
- ‘They were good lads, the salt of the earth, yet I can't remember any of their names.’
- ‘He is an exceptional young man - the salt of the earth - and at his age he is already showing a lot of leadership.’