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 - Matthew 5:13
I grew up in one of the larger cities in the state of South Carolina. However, when I went to visit my mother's side of the family, I was exposed to a more rural lifestyle. One of my earliest memories of my visits to the maternal side of the family was the small shack that my grandfather used to store country hams. I remember going into that shack and seeing country hams hanging in burlap bags from the cross beams. The thing that I most remembered is the overpowering smell that my grandfather identified as salt. I asked him why did he use salt on the country hams. He explained to me that salt preserved the meat and kept it from spoiling until it was ready to be eaten. Having the ham cured by the salt gave them plenty of meat to last until the spring. He said that when he cured country ham with salt, he never worried about his meat ever spoiling.
The scripture above came from Jesus' beloved Sermon on the Mount. Some scholars feel that this was the source of Jesus' greatest teachings and represents a guide on how we should live. In it Jesus referenced the preservative quality of salt and compared it to how we should interact with others that we come in contact with. Salt, in order for it work, must come in contact with the substance to which it is added like the country ham my grandfather cured. To be even more effective, it must penetrate and infuse what it comes into contact with. For us to be effective in reaching others with the gospel, we must come into contact with them like salt. We cannot have a preservative effect by staying apart from the people that we want to influence. We have to be close to those we have a desire to have an impact on. More importantly, Jesus warns us about what happens to salt that loses its flavor. If the salt has lost its flavor and preservative qualities, then it is no longer good for anything and is deemed worthless and needs to be thrown out. Men, have we lost our flavor as the salt of the earth? Because of our actions, will we be deemed worthless and cast aside? Without having the flavor of salt, we cannot make an impact on the world. Without the flavor of salt, we cannot lead people to experience the power and joy that comes from knowing Jesus. Without the flavor of salt, we cannot model the behavior or serve as an example of a sinner that is saved by grace. Men, do not, I repeat do not, lose your flavor or your saltiness. You are not worthless, you are not good for nothing. Will God's unmerited grace, you will not be trampled underfoot or thrown out.
ACTION PLAN: Realize that in order to have the same preservative effect as salt, we have to be close to the ones that we would like to impact. That means meeting people where they are. Like the salt in the country ham that hung in grandfather's shack, we have to mingle with others to preserve. Who in our circle of influence are we called to be the salt of the earth for? Identify that person and start the curing process
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Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.