One days Jesus referred to his disciples as ‘Salt of the Earth’ and it made such a big impact on them that three gospels mentioned this instance. Let’s look at one such instance which is found in Mathews 5:13
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
Before we understand how believers are expected to be like salt let’s look at the core properties of salt:
- Salt is easily available and is not expensive: Salt is one of the commodities which is easily available and does not cost much.
- Salt is not a dish: Salt is not a dish but is a part of most of the dishes.
- Salt is easily dissolvable: Pure salt leaves no residue when mixed in water. You cannot take out salt after putting it in any dish.
- Salt is used in small quantities: Salt is never used in equal proportion but is added in very small quantities.
So how do these qualities of salt corelate with the life of a follower of Christ?
Let’s examine these properties one by one:
Jesus in his entire ministry on earth was always seen to be ministering to Gentiles and Jews alike. This was one of the biggest problem statement which the Sadducees and the Pharisees had with him since they behaved as a superior race than the other Jews and had nothing to do with non Jewish people. Mark 2: 16 – 17 narrates one such instance, “ And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?  When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Jesus though the son of God never believed in any exclusivity.
As believers how is it that we behave towards other people. Do we act pricey, inaccessible to people? Do we criticize people on the way they behave in Church, in community or do we pray for them?
Jesus narrated a very beautiful parable about how a Pharisee and a publican prayed just to accentuate this point. This is found in Luke 18:9 – 14: “ And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
As a believer we need to treat others with kindness and respect and be always available for them, whether it be standing with them in prayer or helping them with some chores or even helping them in their time of need.
Not a solo act:
Just as salt is not a dish in itself but is an essential component of each dish, in the same way being a Christian means that your presence, your actions, your deeds should make an impact in the life of others, should glorify Jesus and not yourself!
A bitter pill to swallow in this time of self promotion but a reality! Mathews 20:25 – 28 mentions this, “ But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
We are not called for self-praise but to give glory to God.
Dissolvable yet Distinct:
Continuing on the previous point, one of the key feature of salt is that once dissolved you cannot separate it easily from the dish. It blends in the dish and gives it a unique flavor. In the same way we believers are expected to blend in our community and add a unique flavor. Many mistake this ‘blending in’ as following all the rituals and customs of people. Nothing can be far from truth than this.
Bible tells us that we are in the World but not of the World. Just as the flavor of salt is distinct in any dish so a believer’s life should be in any Church or Community. We need to add a distinct flavor, not lose our identity!
Used in small quantity
How often we have heard people calling us ‘minority’ especially in Asian Countries! Well, I have some good news, if you were to categorize each component of a dish basis it’s quantity then salt would always be a minority, however despite being used in small quantities you can taste it in any dish!
In the same way, we may be a minority in many communities, state but if we are effective for God then we are as impactful as salt in a dish. All we need to do is live according to the Bible and follow Jesus’s example. He had twelve disciples who were with him, not a huge number but look at the kind of impact they had. Book of Acts tell us that when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and Peter spoke to the people of Jerusalem three thousand turned to Christ in one go!
Never underestimate your impact as a believer no matter where you are. All that is required that just as salt we impart our uniqueness in this world, in the lives of people around us, our family, our Church, our community.
And always be filled with the Holy Spirit as He is the one who is the ‘saltiness’ of the salt. If we are not Spirit led then we would lose our ‘saltiness’ and would become worthless despite being seen as ‘salt’!
God Bless You!
Your Brother in Christ