30 June 2015

The Salt of the Earth

“You are the salt of the earth.” (Matthew 5:13)  Jesus said His followers were salt.  At one time salt was such a valuable commodity that workers were paid with it, therefore we get our word “salary” from this practice.

But times have changed and we no longer use salt as currency.  Jesus warned of this when He said, “But if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”  Again, Jesus was referring to the common practice of setting a block of salt on the floor and scraping the salt needed from the top of the block.  Over time the moisture from the floor washed away the seasoning from the bottom of the salt block.  When the owner of the block of salt scraped the salt from the top of the block until she reached the bottom containing the unprotected salt, she simply pitched the salt without seasoning into the street.

What an excellent example of what is happened in our world today.  The Christian has lost his influence on society.  He has lived on the bottom of the block for so long in contact with the world that he has lost his seasoning.  There is almost no difference in the life he lives and the life lived by the people in the world around him.  He practices his personal faith in silence and the world around him thinks he is one of them.  He has lost his seasoning and “just fits in.”  He doesn’t want anyone to think he is different.

He says he is a Christian, but what is a Christian?  He doesn’t read his Bible.  He only prays as a ritual or when he is in trouble.  He doesn’t go to church unless it is convenient.  He doesn’t tithe.  He complains about all the hypocrites in the pulpit but lives taking care of himself.  It sounds like he has become like the people in the world around him.

He says he is a Christian but the divorce rate inside the church is the same as outside the church.  He says is a Christian but he looks at pornographic pictures and reads books like Fifty Shades of Grey.  What has happened?  The salt has lost its saltiness!

He calls himself a Christian but he has reached the place where he uses his Christianity to justify his lifestyle.  The reason he doesn’t attend church is because he can’t find a church that is biblical. (Of course, this is the same Bible he doesn’t have time to read.) He doesn’t read the Bible because there are too many translations. (Of course, he is judging a book he has never taken the time to read through one time.) He doesn’t tithe because he is using his money to help poor people. (Of course, most of these people are his relatives.)

He has reached the place where he justifies his beliefs by his Christianity.  He says it is his Christian faith that causes him to accept same-sex marriage. (Even though, the Bible clearly condemns this lifestyle.)  He believes one should keep his personal beliefs to himself. (Although, it is impossible to truly believe any religion and it not affect the way we live.)

The words of Jesus have proven true.  If we are not salty, we will have no influence on the world around us because we have become like the world.

You can taste salt. Salt make us thirsty. Salt not only adds flavor, it preserves the food with which it is mixed.  Yes, sometimes salt can sting, if it is places on an open wound, but even then it purifies the wound by killing the bacteria.

Salt is good and I desire to be good salt.  Salt is different and that is one of the reasons it is valuable. If we are to make a difference in our world, we must be different than our world.  Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”  (John 15:19) True Christians are different from the world.