We all need a reminder that the Christian life is not so much about self as it is about others. There certainly is a component of self-interests that play a role in our commitment. For example, we all want to go to heaven, receive forgiveness, and know we are loved and accepted by God.
But somewhere along the way, the focus must shift from what we see in the mirror to what we see all around us.
One way Jesus addresses this is with the metaphors of salt and light. We are to have a salty influence on the world around us.
Jesus said in Matthew 5 that we needed to be careful that our salt not lose it’s ‘saltiness’. One wonders how table salt could lose it’s saltiness? Sodium Chloride will retain it’s composition for years when stored in a dry environment. Really the only way for salt to become useless is if it is diluted by another substance (for example, water or soil). I think there is a great application in two ways here.
First, salty Christians really do have a distinct influence on the world. Salt is used to bring out flavor, as a preservative, and is connected with purity. It’s dependable chemical structure and strength tell us what power it contains.
Second, salty Christians lose these great qualities when they are diluted by the world. Our commitment and love for the Lord may still be present, but the dilution of being distracted and entranced by the world around us will rob it of it’s effectiveness. I wonder how many Christians who could have changed the world were instead rendered powerless because they were diluted by worldly desires and actions?
In Eugene Peterson’s The Message we find the following paraphrase:
…You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? … (Matthew 5:13, MSG)
Consider the ways in which you are salt in your own world. Are you influencing others around you? Or are you too diluted with the world to be the influence Jesus is calling you to be?
Ponder and pray. Thanks for reading.