Salt

Salt.

It gives flavor to food, and in small quantities is essential to life. But salt can also be abrasive, it can poison and kill, and if poured onto an open wound can cause excruciating pain. And yet, this is what Christ chose to call us in Matthew 5:13.

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (NLT)

In a world full of hurting people, Christ called us salt. Sure, we may be able to give flavor to the world with our own unique personalities, but we can also be abrasive and rub people the wrong way; we can very easily cause more pain to those that are already hurting.

My husband comes from the beautiful island of Bermuda, and he tells tales of when growing up he would cut himself, or end up with road rash after numerous accidents, only to be told by family members, “Just go for a swim. The salt will clean it and help it to heal quickly”. And they were not wrong, except it wasn't the salt on its own that cleaned and healed his wounds. Pouring pure salt on to an open wound will dry it out, and it will burn, but a dry wound heals slower than a moist one. Rather than helping to heal, pure salt would hinder the healing process. Instead, it was the combination of water and salt that helped his wounds to heal. This principle exists in hospitals. When a doctor wishes to clean an external wound, it is common that they will use a saline solution because Salt + Water cleans and heals.

“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) – John 7:38-39 (NLT)

Christ offers to those that will follow him water, Living Water. Christ offers us the Holy Spirit. If Salt + Water has the ability to heal the external wounds of people, then how much more so should the salt of the earth when mixed with the Living Water, have the ability to help heal the emotional wounds of this world? How much more so, should people that come immerse themselves in our communities expect to find healing and restoration, just as my husband did when he went swimming as a child?

However, the creation of saline is not as simple as adding an arbitrary amount of salt to an arbitrary amount of water; too much salt can burn and too much salt can kill. For the effects of too much salt on an environment, one need just look at the Dead Sea in Israel. The Dead Sea does not have any fresh water flowing into it, and as a result the water evaporates to the tune of millions of liters per year, causing the concentrations of salt build up to poison every living thing that lived within it. This should serve as a warning to us that every day we need to take on new water – Living Water. Daily we need to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives in order that we do not become toxic or abrasive to those around us. Daily we need to refilled with the Holy Spirit so that those that encounter us in our daily lives or in our churches do not find our presence harmful, but healing.

Daily we must be renewed.

Tabitha Purple is currently serving as a pastor in the Netherlands Union. She also blogs on www.pastorpurple.blogspot.com where she frequently discusses practical theology and life with a creative emphasis.

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com / ettina82

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7970

Excellent presentation, for me the spiritual lesson begins to become evident now. Spiritual salt, that work of God whereby He seasons and preserves His people and uses them to season and preserve the world around them, never loses its saltiness. Though Christians are exposed to the trials and tribulations of life, their salt remains salty, and they remain useful to God. Thank you for this inspirational reminder!

I think the reason the Dead Sea is so salty is that no water flows OUT of it, except by evaporation, which leaves the salt. The Jordan River does flow into it, and that’s fresh water (more or less). At least that’s my understanding.

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I posted the article on my Facebook with the heading –
How to Use Your Salt Without Being Lethal To Others.

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That’s exactly right. The Jordan river flows into it, as do other seasonal wadis. And they are all fresh water. But, since it’s the lowest place on earth, there is nowhere for the water to go. Since there is no outlet, and therefore no way to dilute the minerals which flow into it continually, the mineral content (and therefore salinity) continues to increase. I believe something similar is happening at the Salton Sea in Calif. It, too, is below sea level. Fresh water flows into it, but no water flows out of it.

I too am from Bermuda , and unlike the author , I have gone swimming /floating in the Dead Sea .It contains healing powers. Whatever cut was on my body, both known and unknown was revealed immediately through a stinging feeling , and then healed within a few seconds. If God has created it, He has a purpose for it .I accept that both too much or too little salt can be harmful to us . God knows just how to use salt .i.e. The story of Lot’s family, must be revisited by our scholars. Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt . Why! Only because as a Hebrew , she represented God. Thus , she and her family where the salt of the earth. Additionally, our scholars should know that the number ten is never used to refer to a number less than ten . When Abraham challenged God to save those wicked cities if Ten Righteous could be found , it was because he knew ten Hebrews/ Lot’s family had left his tent to go to Sodom.- Lot , his wife, his two single daughters , and his three married daughter Genesis 19:12-14 . (10).Sons-in laws would mean that Lot had married daughters. This story is recorded to show what happens to those around us , when we as salt loose our savor . E.G. White states that , " Had Lot’s entire family left Sodom , God would had persevered their judgment / Sodom, until another time." God wants to use us as His first defense in saving others. Go and be Salt today.

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Christians Are The Gatorade of the world.