“You are the salt of the earth….” – Jesus in Matthew 5:13
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:2,3,5,6
I’ve been disturbed by the name calling and rancor that has characterized the political landscape during this season of campaigning. Somehow we, as a culture, have forgotten how to disagree with one another, without resorting to slander, malice, or hate filled words. Our culture seems to be turning more often to solving our disagreements, or slights or hurts or differences, with acts of violence rather than by words that seek understanding or offer hope.
As Christians we are called to live as people who offer grace and hope to others, because we have experienced grace and hope in our lives through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul tells us that as followers of Jesus, our words, our conversations, should be always full of grace, seasoned with salt. We are called to use words that encourage, and build others up. And Paul also wants us to be able to tell others why we are disciples of Jesus and the difference Jesus makes in us. We are called to extend grace to others by what we say and what we do. Jesus called His followers “the salt of the earth.”
Salt seasons…it adds flavor and zest to food. Some foods just don’t go well without salt. Have you eaten salt less popcorn lately? Or what about corn on the cob with no salt? It falls flat, it’s lacking. Salt is meant to bring out the best in foods….In the same way, as Christians we should affect and influence others in a positive way. We should bring out the best in others.
When we salt our food, we add enough salt to make food interesting…too much salt ruins the taste and it’s unhealthy. Salt is used not to bring attention to the salt, but to bring out the best in the food. When we add salt to our corn on the cob, we do not say “what great salt,” we say “what great corn on the cob.” Salt is a change agent. It affects and changes the food on which we put it…to bring out the best in that food.
When Jesus tells us to be salt, He is saying we are to Flavor the world with Jesus Christ – To be Salt is not to draw attention to ourselves, but so people experience the best in Jesus. As the message Bible puts it, “You’re here to be salt seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.”
Being salt means finding ways to grace other people’s lives so that they want more of Jesus Christ. When we feed the hungry, provide water for the thirsty, or provide shelter for those who have none, when we meet the needs of others, when we love our neighbor and forgive those who wrong us, people have that opportunity to see the difference Jesus makes in us…they can see our good deeds and praise the Father in heaven.
See you in worship! Grace & Peace