Devotional: October 1, 2020
“Let me tell you why you are here. 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? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.”
Matthew 5: 13
In this part of His great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells his followers that they are the salt of the earth. What exactly does that mean? A clue to the meaning may be found in Jesus’ follow-up description. He talks about how we need to be distinctive and “salty”. Otherwise, we will not be useful, and we will be discarded.
This fits with how we use table salt. Too much salt will ruin a dish! Once, Jeana was making a huckleberry pie. She happened to store both her salt and sugar in similar containers, and accidently used several cups of salt. Fortunately she caught it before the pie went into the oven, which would have ruined almost four cups of huckleberries.
The same though can be said for no salt. I once ate a chocolate chip cookie made by very health conscious person. She put no salt into the cookie dough. Although the rest of the ingredients were there, the cookie was flat, the salt was not there to bring out the other flavors.
Christians are called upon to be the salt in life. Jesus tells us that we are to add to other’s lives. In a sense, we are called to be the seasoning. Withholding our salt may prevent others from seeing and tasting the wonders of our Lord’s promises.
As mentioned though, there are times when too much salt can be a detriment. I believe this is why God has given us discernment. When we are ministering to others, dumping lots of “salt” upon them may not be the answer to that ministry. I am reminded of Saint Francis of Assisi who said, “Preach often, and when necessary, use words”.
How should Christians flavor the world? We are to love the unlove-able, care for the most vulnerable, listen to those in pain, strengthen the weak, and comfort those in mourning. There are countless ways we can be flavorful in others' lives. In a world that often appears full of revenge, we are called upon to demonstrate and practice forgiveness. In an eye-for-an-eye world, we are to turn the other cheek. We must care for what Jesus called, “the least of these”, our brothers and sisters in this world.
A few years ago, author Mark Kulansky wrote a book entitled, “Salt: A World History”. Surprisingly, it became a best-seller! Here is a short description of the book: “In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.”
May we as Christians, show the love of Christ in such a way that the world sees and tastes the value of our Lord’s unconditional love.
Your world is filled with so many different places that need your tender care. Help us to be the salt in people’s lives who need to hear Your Word. Help us to hold fast to Your teachings, demonstrating and flavoring the world with Your love. Where others see hopelessness, let us sow seeds of hope. Where the world turns away from the unlovable, may we reach out to them with a selfless, and unfathomable love, Your love. May the world take notice, and be changed for the better, flavored by Your love. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.