Too much salt or no salt does about the same thing to food and your Christian life. It renders it worthless.
To prove my point, just leave salt out of a recipe. I left it out of mashed potatoes recently. They tasted awful until I figured it out. Salt just makes everything taste better.
I can’t hardly stand a meal without some salt. If I didn’t have salt, salt substitute or at least some type of seasoning, a meal would just go in the trash can because it tastes like garbage without it.
What does salt have to do with the way you live your life? Only everything!
“Let me tell you why you’re 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 (Msg).
Many Christians probably think, like I did when I read this verse, that we have this one. We are salty. As I read the verse again, I was struck by the fact that the illustration of salt does work both ways. You just need a pinch of salt. Too much makes things unable to be eaten and they, too, go in the garbage.
Health practitioners will tell you that your body needs some salt in your diet for proper brain and cellular function. Too much salt, however, can seriously affect your blood pressure leading to heart disease. It’s even been linked to such health issues as stomach cancer and osteoporosis.
Too much salt can be castastrophic in cooking even more so that not enough. One can always add salt. It’s impossible to remove it once it’s been added to a recipe. I’ve tried. The top came off of the salt. Everything had to be thrown out and started over.
The same is true with our interactions with others. Recently I met with a woman who talked continuously about herself, what she was doing, how much education and experience she had, what her family (who I didn’t know) were doing. Ever once in awhile she would ask a question. Since I was the only one there I assumed it was directed to me but before I could speak, she would answer the question and keep talking. She did this for two hours straight.
I think she thought she was witnessing of her faith to me but, she never once found out who I was or what I was about or even what my faith journey was.
I was ready to leave but couldn’t figure out a way. I can’t remember anything specific that she said. I just felt I was the subject of a sermon she was practicing. She made me want to run the other way.
Why? Too much salt. She did not communicate while sprinkling the conversation with a seasoning here and there to make it palatable. It was all salt. It was worth nothing except to be thrown out with the garbage.
Sometimes we are like this about the gospel message. Perhaps we think that’s what being a Christian is all about. Is God is really the foundation of our lives? That will come out naturally in what we say and do. God desires that we live our lives for more than just talking God-talk.
You may agree or disagree with me if you want. Let’s think for a moment about Jesus and his time here on earth.
Jesus’ life was not repetitive of the religious jargon of the day. He talked about fishing, cleaning house, working, money, farming, eating, drinking, caring about others more than ourselves.
He used everyday illustrations such as salt in food to bring about his point. Many times it’s easier to quote a scripture passage than point to an everyday illustration. Not that we shouldn’t quote scriptures. We should do both.
There is definitely a reason Jesus told us we are here to be salt in the earth. Ever heard of the old adage, he’s so heavenly minded he’s of no earthly good? Jesus worked as a carpenter. He worked hard. Jesus went to a wedding in his community. He had food. Jesus ate with those who were considered sinners in his day.
Jesus knew about every day life because he lived in the earth. He also knew what his heavenly father was doing. He definitely had an ear toward heaven.
Was Jesus too salty? He definitely added flavor and zest to any meeting he was in. Many times the religious people around him didn’t even know he was talking about theology. He was real and abstract. Godly and ordinary.
How do we follow his lead? How do we be salt and yet not too salty. Talk about things the other person is interested in. Ask questions about what they are doing, thinking, planning. Share illustrations from your own life. Be real. Be transparent. And sprinkle the conversation with just enough salt to make it taste divine.