A while back I invited a couple over for diner. I made one of my favorite recipes but I forgot to add salt. It was overall good but it definitely needed some salt. I remember telling the group, sorry! In my head it made me think about how Jesus talks about us as the salt to the world. This is mentioned many times in scripture.
This has brought about many questions in me. How do we become salty in the first place? How do we loss our saltiness and how do we prevent the loss of our saltiness? How do we share our salt with others? Why does Jesus choose to use salt as a metaphor in the first place? What was the importance of salt in biblical times?
Well I cannot say I have all the answers to these questions but here is what I have come up with. In biblical times salt was of high importance. Salt was often used as a form of wages, all sacrifices to God included salt, salt was used to preserve food. So salt of way more importance in Jesus’s time than today.
“And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ Everyone will be salted with fire. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” Mark 9:47-50
When I read this passage about resisting temptation I get the image of salt as part of the purification process. Kind of like salt being used to preserve food. But in this case it is preserving my inner self. If I think about my inner self, my soul, it is constantly being transformed and purified through daily walking with God. I face troubles, trials and temptations all the time. It is through this process that the salt, ie the Holy Spirit inside me, cleans me and makes me new and more holy. When this process is occurring, the sharing of my salt and light to the world is a natural outflow.
So to me I view the salt as something that I receive from God when I choose to believe in him. Similarly I need to daily choose to continually walk with him in order to not loss my saltiness. If I am daily abiding in God I will not need to worry about losing my saltiness. Similarly me being the salt and light to the world will not take any extra effort, it is a natural outflow of just living my life with God and loving others.
To me this takes a lot of the burden off. For all it requires is me to daily choose to believe in Jesus and walk with him. The rest is taken care of by God. All we need to do is abide in him. Sounds simple and it is but abiding is often challenging.
So to those who want to learn how to abide in God, may it start with simply talking to God daily. For all relationships start with spending time together and talking. May he show you and open your eyes to how to abide in him. Amen.