Like a piece of raw meat left on a countertop in hot weather our world is always heading toward complete spiritual putrefaction. As Paul so explicitly and thoroughly describes in Romans 1:18-32, sin’s degeneration and degradation follow an inevitable course to the certain destination of utter ruin. God’s solution to this ongoing doomsday race is for His righteous ones to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13).
When Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth”, He was not talking to an assembly of powerful civil or religious leaders. His listeners on this occasion were not wealthy merchants, well-heeled bankers, or rich CEOs. They were not soldiers in the Roman army which had conquered and now ruled the world with an iron fist. They were common, ordinary people.
ALL who desire to live a righteous life have a most important job—Be salt.
- Salt sustains life. Without enough sodium chloride in your body, you will become seriously ill and die soon thereafter. In the days of Lot, only ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah would have prevented God’s fire and brimstone desolation and death.
- Salt creates thirst. Someone has observed that “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” In response to this truth, a wise equestrian owner retorted, “Yeah, but you can put salt in his oats.” During His ministry, Jesus salted a lot of oats and created strong thirst in some of the most unexpected places—in tax-collectors and sinners (Luke 15:1), in an adulterous Samaritan woman who had had five husbands (John 4), in a Galilean fisherman who openly confessed he was a sinful man (Luke 5:8).
- Salt seasons food. Because of its distinctive qualities, a proper amount of salt can reveal flavors which were hidden before its subtle coaxing. The pursuit of righteousness seasons a tongue into gracious speech (Colossians 4:6). It elevates a mind into meditating upon things true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). It makes you a better husband or wife, parent, and child and seeks to influence all those you can to be a better person.
- Salt cleanses wounds. A saline solution has been the prescribed remedy for many an ailment. Even with a pharmacy full of powerful drugs, salt remains a tremendous disinfecting option for cleaning out a cut or improving the health of your mouth. The truthful words of the righteous when spoken in love have the power to turn a sinner from the error of his way, save a soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).
Like salt, a righteous person sustains life by arresting the putrefaction of sin in himself; he creates in others a thirst for spiritual things; he improves those around him; he addresses the injuries caused by sin with the cleansing word of God.
As the salt of the earth, are you doing your job?