Matthew 5:13 reads:
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Jesus here was talking about the salt that is no longer salty. But has anyone told you that you are good for nothing? Did your teacher ever tell you that you will never amount to anything? Have you been told by your parents that you are useless? It’s not a good feeling: it makes you feel humiliated and ashamed.
Before we begin our parable, I just want to let you know that when people place negative words on your life, they are actually cursing you. Jesus came to relinquish all curses. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21-22) We are to claim the power of the blood of Jesus over every curse that has been placed on us and break its power in our lives!
Our lives can have a positive or a negative impact on those around us. In the Old Testament people focused on the external matters of the Law, but Jesus was more focused on the internal matters of our heart. Hence Jesus wants us to be salt to others. We are to live responsibly, bringing the flavor of God into the world’s corruptive nature. Did you know that salt is used in fertilizers, but if it is used in excess, it will make the soil sterile: nothing will grow! When we season something we just sprinkle: we don’t overload!
Well, I don’t think that Jesus was saying that if you are a Christian and you are not having an impact on the world in the world, then you are good for nothing! When Jesus walked on earth, He preached law and grace. He was the grace of God and He preached the message of love. Jesus shared the practical ways of how to express love to your fellow man. So, Jesus was all about love, but He was also setting the standards so high, leaving men and women to consider that they could never measure up. The reason that He did so was that we would know that we can never obtain His level of perfection by self effort.
Jesus expounded the Law in such a way that it just made it impossible to be free from sin. For instance, He shared that to look at a woman with lust is to commit adultery in your heart. That was something that would convict most men if they are honest. Most men are walking around being adulterous!
These are fighting words, the words that are meant to cause offense. The words found here—that “un-salty” salt is good for nothing, but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men – these can be offensive. Many Christians are trampled underfoot by others in life. Many believers are condemned and judged unfairly because of their Christian life, but that is not what He is talking about here.
Suffering and persecution for righteousness’ sake is a good thing and something to be treasured. Jesus is talking about something more here. Perhaps He is talking about something we do, like throwing rubbish out into a bin. We trample our rubbish down: we stand on our rubbish and push it down with our feet.
How can anyone become salt? I have heard it said and preached many times, salt is a preservative. It is used to preserve meat: salt helps to stop bacteria growing. Therefore, salt in Christians can prevent the growth of sin in our area of influence. So, there is that widely understood use of salt. In your workplace, when people are swearing and gossiping, you can set a standard by not accepting such behavior.
I have spent hundreds of hours watching videos of Andrew Wommack. That is why I keep mentioning him in this book. He told a story about his experience in basic training in the Army. He was in a room with about fifty men, waiting to be paid. Standing with him was a foul-mouthed and angry man who was blaspheming God. In every sentence, he was dragging Jesus into his anger issue. He was constantly blaspheming and swearing. Andrew, who could not stand it anymore, said to him, “Stop it man! Just stop it!”
The astonished man threw a punch at Andrew, but then Andrew said something which stopped the man in his tracks and he did not hit Andrew anymore. He asked the man what the name of his girlfriend was and then said to him: “How would you react if every time someone was angry that yelled out her name, and used her name as a cuss word?”
The man didn’t answer. In fact every person in the room just stood in silence for about thirty minutes, as they waited to be paid. After that episode, none of the fifty men in basic training would speak to Andrew. Each lunch time he would sit by himself and he was ostracized, but he stood up for righteousness’ sake.
Well, that is being salt. That was a reminder to the men that there were standards they had crossed. Being salt is standing up and correcting something when it is not right. This past week I found out something that was not right. When I found out about it I went and told someone to do something about it and make it right. The situation was resolved.
Being salt is refusing to sit by and ignore an injustice, an untruth, or a wrong attitude or action. There is a famous cliché that says, ‘evil seems to triumph when good men do nothing.’ I am not big on quoting clichés in anything. In fact, I think that is the first time in this series of parables that I have used a cliché, but it is so true. That is speaking of salt too. We are supposed to make a difference in this world. We are supposed to stand out. The moral decline of America and other places in the world can be directly associated with the lack of integrity, personal holiness and devotion to God by the Christians living there. The opposite of being salty is to be passive. When we are passive we open the door to the devil to win in a situation without even having to fight.
People don’t really listen to what you say until they have watched you do what you do. It is shameful to know that I am talking to someone on Facebook or online for half an hour, and then when I ask him when do they have to go to bed or when are they going to go, they would answer, “No, it is okay. I am at work.” I find it appalling that a Christian would spend of his work time talking to me! If I had known it within the first five minutes, I would have broken off the conversation. Because of it, I am now more aware of American time zones!
But non-Christians see this. Not many non-Christians read the Bible, and without the help of the Holy Spirit, they cannot understand the Bible, let alone Christians. The only Bible that they see is you and me. That is essentially what being salt is. We have got to show Christ to them. The word Christian means “little Christ.” Jesus Christ would not spend any time on Facebook talking, while He is supposed to be working for a boss. Jesus does not condone that!
Life can be very interesting when you can hear the Holy Spirit and be directed by Him. God knows how to make you shine and how to bring His righteousness to any situation. The Holy Spirit knows which people are going to be saved and come to the Lord one day and He can use you to be a bridge to those people. Just being different to people can have a drastic effect on their salvation. In this dark world, it does not take much to stand out and be more than the average person. That is what being salt and light is all about!
The Christian life is a matter of swimming upstream, Andrew Wommack says even a dead fish can float downstream. It does not take much to float downstream, but the Christian life is a swim upstream. Righteousness means right standing with God. It can never be earned, but it is given as a free gift to us by Christ at salvation. The Bible says that we have the mind of Christ, therefore let His mind show out in your life.
I hope that you have been blessed by what I have shared.