WE ARE SALTY
One of the best things about bacon (and my other addictions: popcorn, Fritos, and crackers) is salt. You can keep your sugar…even chocolate does not have the same appeal as bacon, popcorn, taco chips, mixed nuts…and anything else like that.
I like salt. And although I’m trying to be very careful about exactly how much salt I ingest, since I’m of “that age”, I still like it. And when I was researching about the properties of salt, etc found this very interesting fact: Salt has its own flavor, technically, HOWEVER it is known for “jump-starting” our taste buds, opening them up to accept MORE flavor, causing us to want MORE food.
Now I’ve been enlightened even more about Jesus’ words, “You are the SALT of the earth.” Not only is salt a preservative and flavoring but it actually causes those tasting it to want MORE. When we are truly the SALT OF THE EARTH we cause those around us to want more of what we have: life, light, peace, love. And, as Jesus also says, when “salt has lost its flavor” (by sitting around being unused) then it is good for nothing but to make roads with. Old salt kills, so if it is spread on grass or growth it will kill it, a great way to make paths and roads, back in the day.
It’s not used so much today, but SALT used to be one of the main preservatives of foods that otherwise wouldn’t last too long. The fish from the Galilee used to be salted and shipped to Rome, where it was used as soldiers’ food while they conquered the world.
Another obvious lesson from this “physical metaphor” of this “spiritual truth” is that TOO MUCH salt doesn’t make the food taste better. That’s a lesson in discretion, kindness, and benevolence. How many times has the “good news” of Jesus been ruined because it’s been forced down someone’s throat, as opposed to “sprinkled with care” in JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNTS to make life flavorful?
SALT – the flavor-enhancer/attractor and preservative.
And so…if your “salt” is being poured out of the shaker each time you have any connection with those around you, they are getting a “taste” of the full life that you have from God. It’s available to them as well. However, if you keep it to yourself it not only becomes useless it actually becomes poison. To not share the life and light of God is actually bad for YOU and those around you.
When Jesus said to His disciples, and the thousands of others sitting on the mountain, listening to Him teach, “All of you are the salt of the earth” He was speaking precisely of these attributes…it is a created attribute: we have the ability to make people hungry for Jesus, we have the ability to preserve TRUE life as first given to us by Him.
Years ago, when I was leading a high-school-aged group of worship singers, one of our singers was singing “We are salty, we are salty…”, mishearing the actual lyric, “We exalt Thee, we exalt Thee.” Of course, having never actually used the word, “exalt”, they weren’t certain what it meant – but knew we were the “salt of the earth” so “we are salty” made more sense. I have always remembered that with a smile, every time I’ve sung that song in worship…it makes sense.
All this reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures, a rare picture of the love of God compared to flavor:
PSALM 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”