Matthew 5:13--You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.
There is a disturbing trend that seems to characterize Christianity across Europe and America. We are increasingly insipid. To be insipid is to lack distinctive, to be flavorless, without zest; uninteresting and not tasty. This is one of the most dangerous conditions known to believers simply because of its subtle progressive symptoms: complacency, compromise and the need to be pleasing. Left unchecked, it turns into a form of spiritual analgesia where one feels no holy pain.
Jesus said that we are to be salt—distinctive and flavorful. That declaration implies that we are to be like Him. Just as He came to liberate the world from sin, His followers are to show what liberation looks like by living as redeemed people. A recent Canadian study discovered that mainline protestant churches that have both modern worship services and who teach a literal interpretation of the Bible are the fast-growing churches. Those churches that reinterpret Scripture in light of societal changes and embrace relativism are the ones declining. A literal application of Scripture keeps us like Jesus—vibrant and zesty.
We lose our flavor when we are disobediently complacent about our faith and disregard living holy and God-pleasing lives because there is little to differentiate us from those around us. We squander our flavor by compromising Biblical absolutes. One of the clearest examples of this is the embrace of homosexuality by Christians as an accepted lifestyle. The Bible is clear that God condemns this as sin. So as not to appear judgmental or to be accused as haters, believers tolerate deviancy. Salty believers hate the sin, not the sinner, condemn what is wrong and refuse to bargain with evil. Finally, the need to be pleasing and to fit in saps our flavor. An example of this is becoming like those around us by embracing their lifestyle choices so as to reach them with the gospel. Unless God specifically calls one to do this there is a dangerous reality that takes over where the unbeliever says to the believer why should I be like you if you are just like me?
To be salty often results in pain and suffering. Just as salting a wound hurts, so the world does not like the application of truth spread across it immoral choices. But Jesus told us we also could expect to suffer in being like Him. Just as He was and is rejected so will we be scorned and spurned. But this is okay and temporary. Those who are looking for hope and truth will find it as we retain our flavor. We dare not become insipid, we must be like Jesus!
Here’s how I spell “salt.”
See people the way that Jesus saw them.
Accept people the way that Jesus accepted them.
Love people the way that Jesus loved them.
Touch people the way that Jesus touched them.—R. James Shupp in One Blinding Vision
©2019Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)