The new you… refusing to lose your flavor
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13)
It would be easy to gloss over Jesus’ warning here – but His words are recorded for a very important purpose.
In our zeal to talk about, and embrace, the good things that God offers us – it is to our peril, to treat His warnings lightly. Jesus is very clear. Those who have pledged to belong to Him ARE the salt of the earth. This is what He does to us when His work makes us new creations. We ARE God’s representatives to demonstrate what His work provides for us – and what His work does in us.
God has (already) made us the salt of the earth. We just have to BE the salt.
But Jesus warns us that it is possible for us to choose NOT to be what He has made us. And He also warns us that there are serious consequences for our actions.
This is essential. We must understand that God’s provision for us is not automatically applied. The provision, itself, is permanent… and eternal. BUT, it must be received – and acted upon daily. We are always required to take up our cross DAILY and follow after Jesus. This is what it truly means to live by faith (Romans 1:17) If we do not do so, we are not (in those moments) living by the provision of God – we are living by our own will, and by our own provision for our lives.
This is dangerous ground. And Jesus warns all disciples (for all time) of this fact.
In Jesus’ time, and in that middle-eastern culture, there were different salt compounds around. It was possible for some of these inferior salts to actually lose their flavor (depending upon certain conditions). When this occurred, the unflavored salt lost it’s viability, and was no longer useful for it’s intended purpose. It lost its worth, its integrity, its usefulness. Worthless salt was often thrown out into the streets to be trodden underfoot.
Salt was never intended to serve as pavement! But in the end, salt that cannot BE salt, has no other purpose.
I don’t intend to mess with anyone’s theology, but I can’t escape Jesus’ words. He WARNS His disciples for a purpose. He gets their attention with an analogy they have all witnessed. The disciples, most certainly, do not miss the connection… or the importance of Jesus’ warning.
The gifts of God to us are immense. They reflect the power and goodness of His Heart towards us. But if we do not treat these gifts with the respect they deserve, it says something about the condition of our own hearts. And the condition of our hearts (because of God’s work to make us new) is what is supposed to be on display.
Prayer focus: God, help me not to take Your gifts to me, for granted – but to walk in the fullness of Your provision, every day of my life.