“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness… It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13 NIV/NLT)
When Jesus told His disciples that they were the salt of the earth there are several ways to interpret and apply this metaphor. We find a clue to my favorite interpretation when we realize that the word “salary” is made up of two root words: “salt” and “money.”
Twenty centuries ago the Roman Empire wanted to control the population of the world. They knew that no human being can live without salt. So, they controlled the salt of the world. They actually paid their slaves in cubes of salt. This is where we get the expression that a person is ‘not worth his or her salt.’
This means Jesus taught that secular people do not have life. His disciples have life and they are the way the secular people of this world can find that life.
Years ago a missionary statesman said when missionaries live in a compound in a foreign country with a fortress mentality they are like manure: they stink! It’s only when God spreads them around that they do a little good. Similarly, when the followers of Jesus meet together they are like salt in a saltshaker. The only way they can have a salty influence is to come out of the saltshaker.
One way our Lord brings us out of the saltshaker is where we make a living. Be challenged by the reality that your workplace can be God’s way of placing you next to secular people who need life. Realize that you are not only there to make a living…
You are there because they need the salty impact of your life.
Dick Woodward, (21 March 2012)