Matthew 5:13 – “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men. (HCSB)
I was looking on a web site that gives household tips and read about adding a pinch of salt to the brewing basket of the coffeepot. There were several tips that involved salt and that lead me to thinking about how Jesus said we are the salt of the earth. Of everything He could have said, why salt? The Salt Institute tells us there are over 14,000 different uses for salt. I started researching salt and found that salt is used in food, drug, agricultural, chemical, and industrial areas. Salt is the only rock humans can eat. Like a snowflake, every crystal of salt is uniquely different. The human body needs salt but we cannot make it for ourselves; we must take it in. Roman soldiers were paid in salt. Ever heard the term “not worth his salt” to describe a lazy person? Salt is used to preserve meat because it stops rot. Salt is an antiseptic, a cleansing agent. Salt is used to melt ice on wintery days. When the correct amount of salt is placed on food, the salt disappears but the flavor of the food is enhanced. Colossians 4:6 says that our speech should be seasoned with salt. Jesus has called us to be salt, to add flavor to the world around us, to stand against the rot of a sinful world. But, salt that has lost its taste is worthless. Pure salt does not lose its saltiness, but contaminated salt does. Romans 12:2 tells us not to conform to this world, not be so much a part of the world that we can’t make a difference, not to become contaminated salt. Does that mean that we should only socialize with people who are just like us? Salt is powerful but is absolutely worthless unless it is applied. Matthew and Mark both tell us that Jesus said “go out into the world and teach the gospel.” Romans 10:14 reminds us that people can’t know the truth unless someone tells them. Salt sitting on the table is pretty but it must come into contact with the food to make a difference. There is even a book by Rebecca Manley Pippert titled “Out of the Saltshaker & into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life”. People need salt but need someone to give it to them. People need You but need someone to show the way. Lord, I want to be salt. I want to be uniquely different from the world but still enhance the world. I want to be worth my salt in Your sight, Lord. I want to be the salt of the earth.
Colossians 2:8 – Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
My husband and I were recently on the receiving end of a hard sales presentation. Our salesman knew A LOT of words, and he liked using as many as possible each time he spoke. It seemed that every time one of us asked him a question, he would talk for at least two minutes and never come close to giving an answer. I started asking questions that I really had no interest in the answer; I just wanted to see him maneuver around an actual answer! He was very good at empty answers. He knew a lot of words. He knew a lot of high-sounding words. He knew how to take his great collection of high-sounding words and arrange them in a way to actually say nothing. People can sometimes get in situations like that and get caught up because the words are high sounding. They get captured in a riptide of words and, before they realize what is happening, they are carried away. Paul said the Colossians were being captured with high sounding words that had no substance. There are well known pastors today that use a lot of words, a lot of high-sounding words. What they say sounds good, but they never actually say anything of substance. They, like our salesman, use a lot of words to say nothing. Someone very close to me is an avid follower of a celebrity minister who, in my opinion, uses a lot of high-sounding words to say nothing. In a discussion one night, I made the comment that he uses pretty words just to make the listener feel good. Her comeback was “Sometimes you just want to hear pretty words to make you feel good.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says “For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (HCSB) John F. Kennedy is quoted as saying, “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” We know that people are listening to the high-sounding, pretty words to give them comfort, but C.S. Lewis said “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” Lord, You know that we live in a world of people looking for comfort and ending up with despair. The world needs truth, not just pretty words that bring self-satisfied comfort. Lord, I pray for the people who are trading Your words for high-sounding words and myths. Lord, I pray for Your people that we would share Your words, words not from human thinking but from Christ.