In my family, my Aunt Terri is the Queen of salt. At every meal we share, she nestles the salt by her side and shoots daggers with eyes to kill if you move it. She practically lives in the ocean’s saltwater waves, and nearly every response is a spray of sarcastic replies or sheepish grins. Consequently, however, she and I are the same with this table condiment. Every restaurant I go to, friend’s house I eat at, or meal I prepare, salt is the right hand to my left. My boyfriend jokes that I add a little bit of salt to every conversation; I’ll let you decide what kind I throw in for extra flavoring.
All jokes aside, though, salt can not only completely transform a dish from horrendous to delicious, but it enhances natural flavoring and pulls out rich tastes only consistently heightened by such a seasoning.
The time I accidentally used salt in place of sugar in a cookie recipe, however, didn’t turn out so favorably. Nor did the incident when I dumped an entire salt packet on 1/4th of a piece of chicken turn out positively. And why? Because my salt was not used for its intended purpose and too much ruined the dish. Unlike my Aunt and I fighting over the salt shaker, I was running to the trash can to spit out the overly pungent mixture sticking to the roof of my mouth.
What’s the Bible’s Deal with Salt?
Through many Scriptures, Jesus talks about the proper use of salt, and while some people use it as it’s designed, others miss or ruin the point entirely. To be “seasoned with salt” is mentioned three times in the New International Version in Leviticus 2:13, Ezekiel 16:4, and Colossians 4:6.
The Strong’s concordance writes the biblical word salt as halas, which can have one of four definitions:
- Salt with which food is seasoned and sacrifices are sprinkled.
- Those kinds of saline matter are used to fertilize arable land.
- A symbol of lasting concord because it protects food from putrefaction and preserves it unchanged.
- Wisdom and grace are exhibited in speech.
Colossians 4:6 of the NIV writes, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” In The Passion Translation, the words sing, “Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith” (Colossians 4:6, TPT).
While I am a teacher in a public school setting, I find this verse convicting to share the gospel in every situation and environment. In the verse prior, Colossians 4:5 of the NIV notes, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5, NIV). We must make the most of every opportunity.
The TPT defines this most as making it your duty to preach the name of Jesus. “Walk in the wisdom of God as you live before the unbelievers, and make it your duty to make Him known” (Colossians 4:5, TPT).
Living as salt and light in a world of unbelievers can be challenging. The TPT defines this walk as one in the wilderness, and I think we could all agree that being in the world but not of it is a difficult concept to grasp. In this day and age, worldly pleasures are seductive and enticing; they feel and look good on the surface but will ultimately destroy your soul. Earthly enticements are like salt added to a sugar dish or vice versa; they seem reasonable and smell great but taste horrible.
To know the difference between salt and sugar is difficult. Yet, even amid this challenging task, Scripture tells us to make the most of every opportunity or make it our duty, our top priority.
Seeing Opportunities to Be Salt to Others
The Aramaic of “every opportunity” here in the NIV can be translated to “sell your last crust of bread to unbelievers” in the TPT, which is a metaphor for making a total commitment of all you’ve got. To make Him known among the nations is what Matthew 28:16-20 preaches, but sometimes, preaching to the nations includes your family, backyard, and workplace.
When we interact with others, especially unbelievers, they must see an accurate representation of Jesus Christ. Although we will sin and are not perfect, ask yourself if how you are acting and what you are doing would stand in the presence of the Holy One. Are your words drenched with grace and compassion and tempered with truth and clarity?
If our words are tempered with truth and clarity, they will be “seasoned with salt,” which means “friendly, clear, and making people thirsty for truth.” In Matthew 5:13-16, the Easy Read Version tells us we are the salt and light of the world.
”You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its taste, it cannot be made salty again. Salt is useless if it loses its salty taste. It will be thrown out where people will just walk on it. You are the light that shines for the world to see. You are like a city built on a hill that cannot be hidden. People don’t hide a lamp under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand. Then the light shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16, ESV)
Are you ready to get salty? It is time that we are light, phōs, literal or figurative brightness of Christ to the world. As indispensable as salt is to us, it was even more so to the Hebrews as a condiment and process for preserving food or accompanying sacrifices.
It doesn’t take a lot to strike a match, start a wildfire, enhance a dish, or ruin it. Similarly, the salt and light we offer to the world as representations of Jesus don’t take a lot, but they can transform entire stories.
Like salt can flavor a flavorless meal, we as the salt of Christ can change someone’s eternity and future projection, but we can also ruin one’s view of Christianity and turn them away from the Lord forever. It’s a heavy responsibility to carry, but it’s one I’m ready to get salty about while pursuing.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Jirkaejc
Amber Ginter is an aspiring 25-year-old writer that currently works as an English teacher in Chillicothe, Ohio, and has a passionate desire to impact the world for Jesus through her love for writing, aesthetics, health/fitness, and ministry. Hoping to become a full-time freelancer, Amber seeks to proclaim her love for Christ and the Gospel through her writing, aesthetic ministry team (Aisthitikós Joy Ministries), and volunteer roles. She is also the author of The Story I’ve Never Told, which is currently in the publishing process. Amber has freelanced for Daughter of Delight, Kallos, Anchored Passion, Crosswalk, No Small Life, Darling Magazine, Called Christian Writers, Southern Ohio Today News, The Rebelution, Ohio Christian University, and The Circleville Herald. Visit her website at amberginter.com.
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