October 06, 2005

Be Salt

Matthew 5:13-16

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. 14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


"You are the salt of the earth." Matthew 5:13

Just over 25 years ago, the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar was introduced in the United States. The intent was to develop a more durable currency. The problem was that the silver dollar could easily be mistaken for a quarter. Legally it was worth a dollar, but people considered it a nuisance because of its size.

The same thing can happen when an unbelieving world sees the lives of believers as no different from their own. If there's nothing distinctive about our lives as Christians--other than going to church on Sundays--then the Christian faith is meaningless and ineffective.

But Jesus saw his followers as being distinct. He even called them "the salt of the earth." Before the days of refrigeration, salt was the most common means of preserving meat and other perishable foods. Salt has a way of slowing down the process of spoiling. Christians are to have that same kind of effect in this world. Our presence is to slow down the corrosive, spoiling effects of sin. But this only happens when Christians get out of the saltshaker and penetrate their communities.

Salt also adds flavor. It makes food tastier and more pleasing. Similarly, the presence of a believer should add zest, joy, and zip to a home, a workplace, or a community. When a Christian is added to the mix, that place ought to become more pleasant and inviting.

Lord Jesus, by your grace, may we hinder the decaying effects of sin around us. By your power, may we add flavor and zest into our homes and communities. For your sake, Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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