THE VALUE OF SALT
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6
At the end of His beatitudes, Jesus stated that His followers were to be salt and light in the world. Salt was highly valued in the ancient world for four special qualities:
A. Its purity – glistening white and coming from the sun and the sea, it was the most primitive of all offerings to the gods. If we are to be salt, we must be an example of purity. In the world, efforts to lower standards of honesty, diligence in work, conscientiousness and morality are going on all the time. The Christian must be the person who holds aloft the standard for purity of speech, conduct and thought. Words cannot be effective unless backed up by pure living.
B. It was inexpensive but precious– Christians may seem few, insignificant and of no consequence to society. In 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Paul addressed the early church with the concept that though few in numbers, lowly and unimportant, Christians are called to exercise godly influence over the whole of society.
C. As a preservative to keep meat from going bad – salt rubbed into meat slowed the rotting process. Christians whose lives exhibit “blessedness” will have a preserving impact upon a society that, if left to itself, will rot and deteriorate. In Judges 9:45, Abimelech, after defeating the city of Shechem destroyed it and scattered salt all over it. Spiritually, this is what the Christian does when he takes his stand for God in society. He makes that society, be it his friends in school, his fellow students at college, his co-workers, or those with whom he plays sports, less fertile soil for other ungodly influences. We too can have a preserving witness, by being involved with this world gone wrong, if we will pay the price.
- To season food – salt brings out the distinctive flavor of food. The increase of God’s people should increase the flavor of life in many different ways. By His very presence, Jesus raised the spirits of people. There was a quality about His life that could not be explained in natural terms. As our verse for today says, our speech especially should be seasoned with salt. In this context Paul also talks about not grieving the Holy Spirit. Since speech is linked to a person’s spiritual state and has tremendous potential for building up or tearing down (James3:3-12), the constant reminder is to watch not only what is allowed to come forth but how it comes.
By our presence, participation and in the “mingling” of society, in our daily contacts in our neighborhood and community, we are to bring the flavor of Christ to an unbelieving world.