We all know about salt. You put it on french fries, potato chips, pretty much anything your mother-in-law cooks (well, not mine, of course), and foods that just don’t make your tongue dance.
Why? ‘Cause it tastes good. Well, technically, that’s actually the result of using salt, but it doesn’t answer the question of why adding salt makes things taste good.
Salt is a flavor enhancer. Those of you that bake know that recipes for sweets often have a bit of salt added. It’s there just to make the sugar and other ingredients taste better. This is where the “Salt” part of this comes from.
As a follower of Jesus, the Word tells me (Matthew 5: 13-16) that I am “…the salt of the earth.” This is a description of who I am – or should be.
Now, salt enhances flavors… not by making them saltier, but rather, by enhancing the flavors already present in the other ingredients.
If I am to be salt, my life, my actions, and my character should enhance the life of others. How I think, speak, act, and interact should be run through this filter of: “Am I actually making this other person’s life ‘taste’ better to them, or am I actually making it worse?
Worse? How could that be?
Did you ever put too much salt on something? Bleh!
By being a bit too overbearing and lording our Christianawesomeness over others (hashtag sanctimonious), we can cause their taste for Christ to bitter. Our lifestyle, demeanor, reaction to adversity, and etc., all reflect on whether we are enhancing the flavor of others’ lives or whether we are too “salty.”
When first learning how to witness my faith to others, I was trained to boldly confront everyone with the message of Jesus Christ, but the tactics I was trained to use gave ME a bad taste in MY mouth. I couldn’t stomach banging on a stranger’s door, asking him if he know where he would go if he died tonight, and telling him he was destined for hell if he wasn’t saved… not that this is necessarily bad, but is it a proper use of our loving salt?
Was I enhancing these people’s lives, or did they shut the door on me – solidifying their belief that Christians were pathetic and highly annoying losers? Even worse, there were times when the people whom I was with, got into heated arguments with them.
Would you say that walking around picking fights on unsuspecting people is counterproductive, yet being ready for a fight, if you are attacked, is prudent? Using this thought pattern, let’s compare confrontational witnessing versus living a holy lifestyle – ready, at a moment’s notice, to explain why when asked?
I’ve spent a few years tossing this issue in my head and I understand now that I was being too salty. Instead of enhancing and watering seedlings of hope and faith, I was flooding them with briny, brackish, fleshly water.
Now, I still believe that one should tell others about Jesus, but I’ve changed my personal message. It’s no longer – “HERE’S WHAT JESUS CAN DO FOR YOU IF ONLY YOU’D JUST BELIEVE – YOU IDIOT!!!!!” My message is now – “Here’s what Jesus does for me every day, even though I don’t deserve it!”
When you become salt of the world, you aren’t pushing the Gospel down people’s throats; you’re living life with them – loving them. That is true witnessing. That’s what Jesus did.
We are here to enhance the lives of others. Done in love, our lives too, will taste sweeter as a result.