So, my current Bible study (Red Letters by William J Petersen and Randy Petersen) had me looking at Matthew 5:13 - "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men." The focus was on the first part of the verse - "You are the salt of the earth."
What does it mean to be the salt of the earth? Here are some of my thoughts on that.
I started with looking at some of the attributes of salt.
It mixes in without losing its identity and it gets into small spaces.
It hurts when it gets in a cut.
So, looking at these attributes, how are we to be salt?
How do we add flavor?
This world and its sin can leave a nasty taste in one's mouth. God's Word when shared - salt - can add flavor that does away with that nasty taste.
How do we help to preserve?
God's Word - salt - is the one thing that preserves our lives eternally. Sharing God's Word - being salt - brings others to the One who can preserve them.
How do we mix in? How does God's Word get into those small spaces?
We are not to hide away from this world - we are called to go out and share God's Word to a world that needs it. Yet, while we mix in with the world, we hold ourselves apart as children of God. We are like the salt on your French fries. It's there, you taste it, but you can still see it on the surface of your French fry. That is us. We mix in, but we maintain our identities as Christians, showing the world there is a better way. And when we think we aren't making a difference, God is working in the small spaces in the walls of people's hearts to one day break through and show them His tremendous love and mercy.
And how could salt in a wound possible be a good thing?
God's Word is made up of Law and Gospel. The Law shows us that we are sinners and in need of a Savior. The Gospel shows us that Savior - Jesus Christ. Salt in a wound is like God's Word convicting us of our sins. It hurts and we want it to go away. Once we see why we are hurting by understanding God's Law, then Jesus comes along and washes our wounds and mends them. But we must never forget the salt in the wound that led us to realize we need Jesus.
And if I take a quick look at the rest of the passage - about salt losing its saltiness. Actual salt cannot lose its saltiness without completely coming apart. We can only lose our saltiness if we turn completely away from God and close our hearts off to Him. If we walk away from our faith, then we are no longer salt. That is why it is so important to remain in close contact with God at all times because Satan is just waiting, looking for a way to stop us from being salt.