6 Ways to Be Salt of the Earth
One day a missionary asked the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi,
What is the greatest hindrance to Christianity in India ?
His answer was swift and decisive,
It is said that the world would be a more Christian place today were it not for the “Christians”. The Christians that constitute this “Christianity” are not the real and committed ones, of course, but those who bear the name Christian yet talk and behave in way where no one would suspect they have anything to do with Christ.
God has planted us on this planet for a purpose and a mission, and it is not just having a job or not coming together as a Church on Sundays.
Our mission in this world to reconcile this world back to God. That’s the reason why God sent His Son! Through His death, we will be reconciled to God. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for us.We are here in this world to proclaim this good news to the lost, and we need to bring people back to His Kingdom.
After the Beatitudes, Jesus tells the disciples their responsibility in society and in the world. The focus of God’s action is the world and not just the Church or Christians. We are not to spend our time thinking of how to escape from this world, nor are we to be preoccupied with Churchly matters only. The Church is not Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is about this world and about our life and witness in this world. It is about politics, about economics, and about the destruction of nuclear weapons. It is about peace. How are we to fulfill our responsibility which Jesus gave to us in the society in which live?
He said You are the salt of the earth….
Christians are to be the salt of the earth. When we want to stress a person’s worth, we often say that he or she is the salt of the earth. In the ancient world, salt was highly valued. Jesus Christ intends His followers to be preservers and healers in the society. As salt, they help people in suffering with a healing covenant with the healer, Jesus. Salt is an integral part of divine covenant (Numbers 18:19, Leviticus 2:13, 2 Chronicles 13:5, Ezra 43:24, Mark 9:50, Job 6:6).
If believers have nothing that distinguishes them from unbelievers, then they are like salt that has lost its saltiness and, therefore, cannot make any difference. And what distinguishes us from non-believers should not be what we claim to be or the badges we wear but rather the life we live. As Jesus says in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciple, if you have love for one another.” Love is the distinctive mark by which you can tell the true Christian from the false.
The salt operates by interacting with the thing it wants to change. Salt cannot improve the food unless it goes into the food and changes it from within. Sometimes we Christians think that the way to should go is to keep away from getting involved with society and popular culture. But by shying away from the realities of our society and our world, we might indeed be hiding our saltiness and its changing qualities. Jesus challenges us to be salt – to influence the world. Jesus emphasises to the disciples that they have both the calling and the responsibility to be influences in this dying world.
What are the usages of Salt?
Greeks called salt Divine, and Latin speakers say, “There’s nothing more useful than sun and salt.”
(1) As a seasoning agent, it improves the taste of the food that it comes into the contact with.
So as we come into contact with society, our Christian values should improve the nature of the society. Salt spices things up. The food without salt is tasteless. A Christian is the one who, by his anointing, love, courage, hope, care, and kindness brings a new flavor into the life of others. If seasoning has no flavor, it has no value. When a thing loses its essential quality and fails to perform its essential duty, it’s fit for nothing but to be thrown away.
(2) Salt makes people thirsty.
As Christians, we seek to create a thirst in people’s lives that can only be satisfied by Jesus, who said in John 7:37, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” If you would live your life style directed by the Holy Spirit you will make another person thirsty for your life style. You can make another person thirsty after what you have, thirsty after your God, thirsty after the peace, joy and blessings you have.
Let’s say there is a gloomy office where there is no joy and people are talking about loss, recession, and economic meltdown, but when you come and make one positive comment, the whole atmosphere lift up . Jesus’ teaching is challenging. There is a little room for those who are Christians, but who have lost their saltiness or their edge.
Without the testimony of lives lived with integrity and consistency by the principles that Christians claim to follow, the testimony of our lips is useless. But be clear – this does not require us to be perfect. Knowing our sinfulness and our need to confess it and being cleansed of our sinfulness is a vital part of the Christian Gospel. Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. So let us live a life in tune with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Lord is looking for people who is willing to yield themselves into the hands of God without questioning or murmuring.
(3) Salt is used to thaw ice on roads.
As Christians, salt can have the effect of warning hearts that have hardened against the gospel, and over time the saltiness of Christians can bring people to know Jesus Christ
(4) Salt is used for purification.
The same way salt has healing power, we should counteract moral decay (2 Kings 20:21). The preservative qualities of salt make it, when so used, a fitting symbol of an enduring compact. The purifying property of salt was referred to in its symbolic use by Elisha in his miracle of the healing of the waters.
The symbolism of salt, therefore, in the words of our Lord Jesus, is clearly this: that the influence of the true Christian upon the world is a healing, purifying influence, tending always to the preservation of that which is good from the adverse elements of putrefaction and decay. “Ye are the salt of the earth”. How significant the comparison!
These words also indicate a responsibility on the part of Christians toward the world in general. Though we are not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world (John 17:16), but separated from it, a peculiar people, chosen of God, we are not to forget that this very separation and exaltation to fellowship, communion, and cooperation with God is not to cultivate in us a pride of aristocracy but for the purpose of blessing the world. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to redeem them (John 3:16), and Christ likewise so loved the world as freely to become the instrument of Jehovah for its salvation (John 6:51, John 10:18, Hebrews 2:9, Romans 5:18-19).
Jesus said “Salt is good,” referring to its symbolism of purity, righteousness, and to its cleansing, healing, and preserving influence. “Have salt in yourselves,” Mark 9:50. If we have not the salt in ourselves, how can we be the salt of earth? If we are not truly and sincerely righteous, how can we exert upon others the cleansing, healing influence ?
(5) As a preservative against bacteria, salt gives food an improved length of life.
Salt is the earliest of all preservatives. The Greeks used to say that salt could put a new soul into dead things. Without salt a thing putrefied and went bad. Salt preserves food from decay.
As the salt of earth, we are called to preserve the faith which you have received and to pass it on intact to others. Our generation is being challenged in a special way to keep safe the deposit of faith (2 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Timothy 6:20, 2 Timothy 1:14). We must act as a preservative against corruption. We must be the conscience of the fellow believers, city, and nation. We must be an antiseptic in the circle we move. And we must fearlessly speak the truth against all evils and support all good causes.
(6) As fertilizer, salt makes it easier for all good things to grow.
The Christian should carry with him the quality of heaven which the fine things flourish, and the evil things shrivel up. Ultimately, with enough salt, those who do know Jesus and acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior will have eternal life.
If I have some chicken and some salt, the salt is useless as long as it remains in the shelf. The salt must come in close contact with the chicken. As a salt, Christians should come close to the people who are perishing and dying in sin.
2011 years ago, on the Calvary Mountain, Jesus brought a formula to change this world that is still effective. No need to search for new technology, theory, or new formula. Jesus’ formula still stands active, effective, and valid.
More than that, the Christian lends flavor to the insipid lives of the defeated and broken people. Being salt emphasizes the need for the Christian to be pure, white in heart and to be an agent that purifies the stained, troubled hearts.
The saltiness is of more importance in healing. A Christian who has the preserving functions as salt helps to lend flavor to the failing tottering lives.
Our task is to be the salt of society – preserving, reconciling, adding taste, giving meaning where there is no meaning, and giving hope where there is no hope. It is about the quality of life. It is interesting that when the early Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire, the Christian Apologists pleaded for tolerance saying that society continued to exist because of Christians. What they were saying was that Christians upheld the good values in life, they worked for reconciliation and peace and they prayed for the empire and its well being.
To be the salt of society means that we are deeply concerned with its well being. We preserve cultural values and moral principles and make a contribution to the development of cultural and social life. We can add taste and flavor to the common life. Because there are Christians in a city or in a village, its people should be able to praise God for the harmony and fellowship, joy, and happiness which Christians bring to the common life.