First of all, my sincere apologies for being late this week. My wife and I are in the middle of buying a house, and as many of you know that can be a busy and stressful time.
This week we open the text in Matthew 5. We have completed the beatitudes and now we move to a very familiar verse. We read in Matthew 5:13: “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.”
When people read this verse we naturally focus on the attributes of salt, because this is the parallel that Jesus is using to describe the listeners on that hillside. What does it mean to be the salt of the earth? Salt is a thing that is commonly used as a preservative and also simply tastes good. We have all craved salt in the form of a bag of chips, popcorn or some other tasty snack.
I would like to focus on the simple fact that salt creates change. Salt is intentional. Salt can’t be applied to something and not change its’ flavor. It simply does it. It is in its’ nature. This is the point that I believe Jesus is making. When we choose to follow Christ, it should be our nature to encourage change in people. We want to do so because of how Jesus framed this is our minds and hearts.
That’s all fine and dandy, but how does that happen? It must be intentional. It must be thought out. When I was younger and in the Marines I used words that I shouldn’t have used in my normal vocabulary. I spoke differently around different people. I wouldn’t use the same language around my mother as I would my fellow Marines. Now, while I still occasionally say things that I probably shouldn’t, I use the same words around my wife, mother and children as I do around my coworkers because I made it a point to do so. I was intentional. I caused change to occur. This is just a small example of how this works. Now many of my friends choose different words around me, but it’s not because of me. Again to be clear it’s not because of me, it’s simply because it is better not to use these words and many find themselves being the only one in the conversation using them and they notice that.
This verse isn’t specifically talking about the way we speak. It’s talking about causing change and being intentional with it. If we are Christians we are to be like Christ and this means we all have a lot of work to do.
Please accept this encouragement this week. Be specific and intentional about something in your life that needs to change. Change it, encourage others to change and be salt.
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Matthew 5:13 – “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.”