[Jesus said] “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
The Spice of Life
When I went away to school, there were plenty of things I missed about home. But one of the biggest things was my mom’s cooking. Don’t get me wrong; she wasn’t the world’s greatest chef. She made some dishes I could have done without, especially her tuna casserole with green peppers. But there is one thing I could always say about her cooking: even if I didn’t like it, her food tasted like something.
That couldn’t always be said of the fare served in our school cafeteria. One of the most frightening sights you could witness during Monday morning breakfast time was the school chef lurking in the kitchen stirring his infamous red sauce with a boat oar. You knew you were in for a tough week. It wasn’t that his red sauce dishes tasted bad. They just didn’t taste like anything. To call them bland would be an insult to the word “bland.”
When it comes to food, bland is bad. That’s why God created spices. They bring out the flavor and heighten the contrasts. They’re meant to be different, savory, and interesting.
You could also say that’s why God creates Christians. In this dying world of sin, Christians are meant to be different. Knowing what God has done to save them from their sins, they want nothing more than to follow his will—even if that means speaking and acting differently from others in this world.
That is the point Jesus is making with his words in Matthew chapter 5. He’s warning God’s children not to blend in with the worldly-minded masses. They’re called to be different, to be the salt of the earth.
Why? Because through their very differentness, they can call attention to the One who has saved them from their sins and made them his followers. And, having grabbed the attention of the people of this world, they will have the opportunity to tell those people about Jesus. He is, after all, their Savior too.
Dear Jesus, through your Word and Spirit, grant me the strength I need to be the salt of the earth. Amen.