In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells us that we are the “salt of the earth.” In Luke 14:34-35, the theme of salt is picked up again
“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Jesus is saying that if you remove the flavor from salt, it becomes dirt. Therefore every believer wants to be salty and maintain flavor.
The problem comes in when I try to be salty on my own. My experience is that when I try to generate saltiness, I end up peddling repackaged dirt. I do not have the ability to generate saltiness on my own. Salt in food enhances the flavor. On the other hand, dirt in food is just annoying. I want to be salt and not dirt.
One of the downsides to growing up in a Christian environment is that I can get very good at playing the game and making things look better than they really are. I can become phony by appearing more holy than I really am.
“How are you?” “Fine.” “You?” “I’m good too.” The kids could be on drugs, the IRS could be knocking at the door, the mortgage company could be about to take the house away, but still things are “fine.” If you have been in the church for more than a few weeks, you have probably witnessed a thousand variations on this same theme of fake “fine.”
We as the body of Christ have to get past all this phony nonsense and do a better job of being real. Like the Velveteen Rabbit, we should be on a quest to become real to the world around us. If we do, the warts, struggles, shortcomings, rebellion and pride will show through at times and we I need to learn to be OK with that knowing that Jesus loves us enough to get us past it into something better.
The only way I can become not-phony is to understand my helplessness and to rely on the Holy Spirit to make me salty again. Galatians 5:22-23 gives us a list of the characteristics of one who is yielded to the Spirit. This is the salt that the world needs. Against this there is no law.
Lord, make us salty to a world that needs the flavor and preservation that only you can provide.