[Part 7, Chapter 44]
Salt. Too little and you can’t function. Too much and it hardens your arteries.
Too little, and your dish seems tasteless. Too much and your dish is ruined.
Jesus says we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).
Salt flavours, preserves, and protects.
It flavours by reducing the bitterness and highlighting the existing sweetness.
It preserves because most bacteria, fungi and other potentially disease-causing organisms cannot survive in a high saline environment.
It protects as roads in many northern-hemisphere countries are pre-treated with salt brine, which sticks to the road surface and helps prevent ice from forming, making winter travel safer.
You are the salt of the earth.
You bring flavour as you live in favour. You preserve society by living fully immersed in the favour you’ve received. You protect creation by making decisions as a favoured-one.
What would happen, I wonder, if we stopped trying to force change onto a seemingly resistant culture, and instead released the flavour of favour.
You don’t force salt on a dish. You place it into the dish and let it do its work.
Perhaps too many Christians are trying to force things onto society rather than flavouring society by immersing themselves into.
Sadly, we are known for what we are against, not what we are for. Others associate us with bigotry, prejudice, exclusion, intimidation, my way or the highway.
The salt we have sought to sprinkle on society has been predominantly ethically or morally based. However, telling someone else they need to clean up their act is perhaps the worst place to start. Acceptance—of them, not their behaviour—is not only the best place to start, but the place Jesus always started when dealing with outsiders.
Jesus lived in a country with an occupying force. Even though they were under foreign domination, Jesus never picketed Rome, sat on the steps of parliament, took up the sword, or made an anti-Roman political statement. Instead, he brought the flavour of the kingdom by releasing the favour of his Father
We release favour’s flavour through the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I used to think the big-ticket items were love, joy, and peace. And of course, they are. Now, however, I see that the way they are delivered is through goodness, kindness, and gentleness. Just imagine how much of the Father’s favour-flavour we would release to others by practising self-control, patience, and faithfulness in all situations.
This is how love, joy, and peace are delivered within our families, among our local communities, and within our nation.
It’s so simple, so profound, so powerful, that most of us look for something more dramatic.
You won’t find it.
After sharing the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—Paul writes, “There is no law against such things” (Galatians 5:23).
It is guaranteed. Rock solid. Ridgy-didge! Irrevocable. It will flavour, preserve, and protect.
You have favour. That’s why Jesus doesn’t invite you to become salt, to do a course on saltiness, or to study its potential.
He simply says, “You are the salt of the earth.”
Trust whose you are, and you may just be the flavour of the month … every month!