Matthew 5:13-16 (TPT)
13 “Your lives are like salt among the people. But if you, like salt, become bland, how can your ‘saltiness’ be restored? Flavorless salt is good for nothing[a] and will be thrown out and trampled on by others. 14 “Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop? 15 And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place? Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. 16 So don’t hide your light![d] Let it shine brightly before others, so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.”
One of my favourite meals is hot fish and chips with chicken salt. However, when the chips aren’t seasoned right, it’s quite a letdown. The distinct flavour is missing, and the chips which are still hot and crunchy just seem to be missing something essential.
In my observation of this passage, Jesus comments that our ‘lives are like salt among the people’. As followers of Christ in this society, we bring something noticeably different to the standard way of living. My mind jumps to the fruits of the Spirit, that through the work of the Holy Spirit we live as people characterised by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These characteristics set us apart, giving us our ‘salty-ness’, and by living these out it makes the work of God attractive to those around us. How cool is that!
But Jesus also issues us a warning, that ‘flavourless salt is good for nothing’. It’s a blunt explanation that if our lives are shaped by disobedience to God and ignorance to the work of the Holy Spirit, this will result in our being ‘thrown out and trampled by others’. In response to this, I’ve begun to ask God to soften my heart so that I would be easily shaped by the Holy Spirit, and to also make me aware of the opportunities to be ‘salty’. I’m reminded of I Corinthians 11:1 which says, ‘Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ’. Let’s strive to live as Christ did, and live a life shaped by the Holy Spirit. By living in this way, we can be sure that those that surround us will see our Godly ‘salty-ness’ and even be led to follow in Christ’s footsteps too.
Written by Andrew Molteno