You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men” (Matt. 5:13, NASB).

In Christ’s time, salt was used as money in many places. So when Christ says, “You are the salt of the earth,” He is placing high value on all His followers.

His word picture also teaches us we are:

  1. Preservatives in our communities. Salt is used as a food preservative. How do Christ’s followers “preserve”? Honesty, integrity and kindness help a community to build trust and grow together. In other words, behaving in a manner mirroring the fruits of the Spirit is good for your community’s health and longevity.
  2. Adding flavor to our communities. Hopefully, by our presence, we make our communities a richer, more appealing place to live.
  3. Making people thirsty for the Water of Life. When a veterinarian wants a horse to drink water, they will feed it salt tablets. Our presence should make people thirsty for abundant life.

Christ also says if we, the salt, become tasteless, we will be “thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” Numerous researchers such as George Barna are finding that society does not view churches much differently than any other entity. How sad that the modern church has become “tasteless!”

Mingling and Ministering

As you can see, this presents a challenge. How can we make people thirsty for anything if we “taste” like everything else? This is the heart of Ellen White’s famous passage from Ministry of Healing, p. 143:

“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’”

Now this is a description of savory salt! This paints a picture of an organization that is all together different than what most experience day-in and day-out in this broken world. Salt like this will make people thirsty to know more about the One we follow.

The next paragraph in Ministry of Healing says:

“There is need of coming close to the people by personal effort. If less time were given to sermonizing, and more time were spent in personal ministry, greater results would be seen. The poor are to be relieved, the sick cared for, the sorrowing and the bereaved comforted, the ignorant instructed, the inexperienced counseled. We are to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, this work will not, cannot, be without fruit.”

Would you be missed?

A member of a church I pastored in Florida was an auto mechanic who had been instructed by his boss to make the repairs as expensive and extensive as possible. He and his wife decided to go into business themselves and be completely honest with customers, often saving them hundreds of dollars. He rented a dilapidated garage just down the road from the modern auto shop where he previously worked, and it wasn’t long before he had more work than he could handle. Cars were parked everywhere waiting to be serviced. People in our community learned to love and appreciate him and his wife, and accepted their invitations to attend our church.

He was high quality salt! He made his community a more appealing place to live. He also made people thirsty to learn just why his auto shop was different from the one down the road.

You have probably heard the question, “If your church disappeared tomorrow, who in your community would miss you?”

The answer will always be related to the kind salt you are sprinkling around. Are you helping to create a stabilizing influence in your community? Are you connecting and serving in such a way that people are attracted to Christ? By your presence, are people becoming thirsty to learn about what Christ has done and still wants to do for humanity?