In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes our unique identity as preservatives in a broken and rotting world:
“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
Many of you have heard that one of the main purposes for salt in the first century was as a preservative – to slow the rotting of perishable foods.
At a conference I visited recently, I heard an interesting take on this preserving role of believers in our world:
Consider that you put to slabs of meat out in the sun. One of the slabs of meat you preserve with salt, the other has nothing added to prevent decay.
After three days in the sun, guess what will be true of both slabs of meat? EXACTLY! Both of them will be rotting. HOWEVER, one will be less rotten than the other.
Sometimes, the role of believers in our broken world is to be preservatives that slows the rotting process in their particular situation. Sometimes our presence will not impact 99 of the people that know us, but WILL impact the one. And it is for that one that Jesus died. The few people who, through our lives influence, become captivated with Jesus will join in the preserving influence of Christ. They will help to oppose the rottenness of the evil one in our world, bringing redemption to other families in a ripple of God’s grace.
What does that mean for us today? We can do two things if we choose:
- Stay salty! – Stay connected to Jesus (godly and holy as I mentioned in my last post) so that you stay different and a redemptive influence wherever you go and with whomever you hang out with each day.
- Stay “rubbed deeply” into your surrounding world. Don’t run and hide. Stay connected to friends who are harassed and helpless, without hope and without God. Love, serve, live differently, and speak truth with gentleness and winsomeness – and the Spirit of God will use you to slow the rotting influence …. And seeing lives changed!
…. And who knows, maybe we’ll be used by God to transform and change our world for good.