Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | August 23, 2022

Salty or Sweet?

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Matthew 5:13

What do you prefer—chips or candy? Popcorn or cake? Doritos or Nestle Toll House? In other words, would you gravitate toward something salty or something sweet? This is always an interesting insight into someone’s preferences, and it’s often used as a big group icebreaker question. Regardless, there seems to be a definitive response every time.

When we look at the elements themselves—salt and sugar—we discover unique attributes of both. Salt is used to preserve food, as well as bringing out flavors. Salt also makes us thirsty. Sugar, interestingly, is also used to preserve some foods…and, of course, it makes food sweet.

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He called His followers to be salt of the earth. What does that mean exactly? We are to influence the world—unbelievers—by adding the flavor of holiness. We’re to represent the Lord, His will, and His ways to others. We’re also to preserve His Word in a time when the enemy is working diligently (in and out of the Church) to water it down, make it seem irrelevant, and use it to divide. And we’re to make others thirsty for God—when they see our joy and experience our grace and mercy, they should want what we have.

Jesus did not call us to be sugar. We are not to only invite others to Him using sweet-tasting morsels—or, worse, entice with cloying syrupiness that sickens. Think of churches today that put on smoke-machine praise performances, affirm all-things-worldly, and assure congregants that wealth and health is one prayer away. Like ingesting too much sugar, such indulgence in so-called “Christianity” will not only make a person sick, it will ultimately lead to death. Sugar may be a temporary preservative, but rot doesn’t take long.

The thing about salt, you see, is that it also purifies and cleanses. These are vital actions for the Church today—not to do the cleansing, but to share the Good News about the One who can. The fallen world is defiled, in need of purification. So are fallen, broken people. We all fall short—all of us. We all sin because we’re all sinners. (We’re not sinners because we sin.) And because we are unrighteous and unholy, we are separated from God—and we can’t work our way back to Him. But Jesus died on the cross, redeeming us from our sin and paying the debt we owe. Jesus cleanses us from all our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), washing us as pure and white as snow (Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 51:7), so we can stand before God holy and unashamed.

Another thing about salt is that when used to clean and treat physical ailments, it stings. A lot. Same with being salt to the world. It’s good, useful, helpful, tasty. But sharing Jesus in a world that hates Him—because it does—can cause significant distaste in the hearer. It’s our task, though, to make people thirsty for the Truth that preserves them for eternity.

“Lord, may I be salt to our lost world, making them thirsty for the Living Water.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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