How are Your Salt Levels?

ID 160116510 © Aleksandrs Samuilovs | Dreamstime.com

Salt. It perks up my French fries, chlorinates my pool, and boosts my Gatorade when the Texas heat and humidity make my sweat glands run like faucets. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus affirmed the need for salt (and the Church) as flavor, fertilizer, and preservative.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13 NIV

The ancient world used salt for everything from food prep to cleansing newborns. They associated salt with health, hospitality, purity, and endurance. In Scripture, priests added salt to offerings, sacrifices, and anointing oil. Salt symbolized covenant (Num. 18:19) and was tied to wisdom (Col. 4:6). 

Here’s a quick list to check your salt levels:

1. Flavor: Salt enhances flavor. Does your presence enhance your sphere of influence? Do you raise the bar? Encourage others? Do you sprinkle love and grace wherever you go?

2. Fertilizer: Dr. Maynard Murray discovered sea salt made an excellent fertilizer. Sea salt not only helped the plant grow, but also gave the plant a greater yield and resistance against pests and disease. Plants even tasted better due to a greater level of vitamins and sugars. What effect do you have on the body of Christ? How do you taste to an unbeliever?

3. Preservative: What effect do you have on the evil in our society? Do you ignore it? Do you join in? Do you put a stop to it? Tough call because evil ranges from outright acts of racism that we see on the news to offensive entertainment on TV. What impact do you have on the issues of our day?

4. Thirst: Does your sphere of influence leave your presence with a greater thirst for the good things of life? For holiness, righteousness, or purity? For Jesus? For hope and perseverance?

Salt loses its saltiness through a process called leaching—dilution, in a nutshell. Leached-out salt was then used for coating pathways. Hence, Jesus’ reference to salt being “thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Is Jesus diluting the influence of the world or is the world diluting Jesus’ influence on you? Jesus calls us to guard against losing our saltiness, because the consequences aren’t pretty.

Not good for anything.

Thrown out. 

Trampled by men. 

A lost purpose. 

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown said, “Since living Christianity is the only ‘salt of the earth,’ if men lose that, what else can supply its place? It is not the mere want of a certain character, but the want of it in those whose profession and appearance were fitted to beget expectation of finding it.”

Turns out that saltiness is a big deal and I’m tasting a little bland. 

Activities:

Look at the different ways you use salt each day:

  • To flavor food
  • To preserve food
  • To retain fluids (Gatorade)
  • To treat muscles or skin (Salt scrub/bath)

Try this experiment to see how long it takes a solution to lose its saltiness.

  • Measure 100 ml of water (about ½ c.)
  • Add 3.5 g of salt (about 2/3 of a tsp.) Stir until dissolved. 
  • Pour half of the solution into another container and fill to 100 ml again. Stir until dissolved.
  • Repeat four more times. How does it taste?