January 10 (Matthew 5:13 NIV)
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 underfoot.
Pure salt was valuable back in the days of the Roman empire. The Latin word for salt is salarium from which we derive our word salary. While the story that Roman soldiers were paid in salt, thus associating the word salary with compensation may not be true, salt had many properties that made it valuable. When Jesus described His followers, He called us “the salt of the earth.” I have no doubt that He was referring to pure salt which preserved food, added taste, and had many other properties.
When Jesus compared His followers to salt it was as much encouragement as description. He was calling us to be His agents in penetrating and preserving society for God. The warning He gave was that the salt might lose its saltiness. As I wondered how salt could lose its basic properties of being salt, I came to the understanding that salt loses its saltiness when it becomes mixed with other things.
As followers of Christ, our thoughts, intentions, and actions should be focused on being God’s agents in a society that would decay without our influence . Our responsibility, as God’s agents is to penetrate the world with righteousness and proclaim the love and grace of Christ to all, while maintaining the purity of our relationship with Christ. If we don’t do that, or we let our “salt” get blended in with the world’s impurities, we’re not good for much of anything except to be thrown on the ash heap of history.
Lord, keep our hearts pure as we do Your will. May we make a difference in a world that’s indifferent to You. May all of our thoughts and actions reveal Your love and grace to a society that needs to experience You. May we always maintain our saltiness in the face of opposition.