“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”
Salt is valued as a preservative and for seasoning food. Just as salt seasons and preserves, we are to bring God’s goodness to the world and preserve against moral decay in our environment.
Salt adds flavor. We live on the earth to give greater meaning and flavor to those around us. If we have the desire to help others, then we are like flavorful salt. If we are indifferent to others, then we are as if salt were to lose its flavor. When we attract others with goodness and kindness, we are the salt.
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Col 4:6)
Speech remains a lifelong lesson. Paul compares speech that is full of grace to that which is seasoned with salt. What does it mean to season our speech with salt? It means to weigh our answers before speaking so that they can be gentle and effective. When we respond with gentleness, it will be difficult to have conflicts. So, the salt of gentleness is the salt that we should season ourselves with.
Salt is a preservative. Salt cannot lose its flavor. We have to be the preservative that preserves the goodness around us. We lose our saltiness when we engage in endless and irrelevant disputes. Such disputes crowd out the life-changing message of Christ. We are to avoid meaningless talk, as Paul teaches us in 1 Timothy 4:7, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” (NIV) Arguing about tiny details of Scripture can cause us to miss the intent of God’s message. When we study the word of God, we must refrain from being carried away by topics or issues that are irrelevant to our faith. We should not promote debates on subject matters that are speculative and have no bearing on the truth. Instead, we ought to encourage and exhort one another with love in order to edify each other. Like salt, we are to bring out the better nature of those around us. Then, we will have peace with each other.
God calls us to be Christians so that we may bring God’s qualities to the world. Jesus teaches us to be the salt of the earth to show these qualities. We must strive to do good work and not to lose our saltiness.