Salt of the Earth
Salt. This simple substance permeates the food we eat and, sometimes, even the things we drink. We wouldn’t survive without it, but too much in our diet disappoints our doctors and leads to its own issues. Without salt, food would be close to inedible; however, adding more than needed does the same!
The salt industry’s value is in the billions of dollars, but its importance reaches into our lives daily. Jesus must have thought it was important, too, when He likened us to salt in Mark 9:50, “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.” With this issue’s theme encompassing this significant spice, let’s look at a few varieties from around the world and see how we can be the salt of the earth that Jesus calls us to be.
Salt’s most common iteration can probably be found in billions of homes globally. This salt has been highly refined and stripped of its impurities, while many versions have iodine added during the process to help prevent iodine deficiency in its users.
If we think like Jesus and consider Christians to be the salt of the earth, then this is the garden variety Christian—those who have accepted Christ’s offer of salvation, been stripped of their impurities, and have had Jesus added during the process. While they may not be dramatically changing the world, they certainly are meeting people where they are and seasoning their lives as best as they can.
Sea salt comes from evaporated ocean water that’s then boiled to remove impurities and heated until crystallized. One of the more versatile types of salt, sea salt is often used for basic cooking but can also be used for spa treatments designed to relax and reinvigorate. It eases muscle cramps, relieves stiffness and pain, and helps detoxify the skin. In simple terms, it brings peace to your entire body.
In Mark 9:50 above, Jesus urges us to be at peace with each other. Elsewhere, in Matthew 5:9, He tells us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Sea salt Christians have a knack for dissipating strife, and they serve an essential function in a world searching for God’s gift of peace.
This may seem like an odd inclusion when discussing salt’s numerous qualities, but road salt is vastly important for its ability to de-ice our roads and letting us carry on normally. How does this relate to Jesus’s mission? Consider this: Have you ever met someone whose cool exterior seems impenetrable?
Regardless of the circumstances creating those layers of ice, Christians gifted with the ability to de-ice those around us help remove roadblocks to sharing God’s message of hope and love. These people know what they do may be underrated, but simply go about their business without looking for praise – a vital role in the process of reaching others.
Those who profess to follow Christ, like salt, can play many important parts in this world. We can be used to bring peace to our families, friends and offices. We can be used to melt the icy exteriors of those who would impede God’s love from reaching further. Or, we can simply be used to season the lives of those around us. Whatever gifts we’ve been given, let’s strive to be more like Jesus so that we can be proud to be called the salt of the earth.
By Jason Busch. Busch is a physician liaison at Texas Health Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. He lives in Arlington, Texas, with his wife, Kristina.