Salty Disciples

May 12, 2015

“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)

Philosophy of Neighbor

February 12, 2013

“‘So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?'” (Luke 10:36)

I heard a businessman say, “There are two things to be gained in every business deal: money and experience.  When you do business always get the money and give that other person the experience!”

According to the way the parable of Jesus ended with the verse above, when a devout disciple of Jesus is involved in a business deal, should they always get the money and give the other person the experience?

Jesus taught this parable in response to the question: “Who is my neighbor?” In His answer Jesus presented three philosophies of neighbor.  “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours will be mine just as soon as I can take it.” That was the philosophy of the thieves in this story.  “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours” was the philosophy of the religious people Jesus profiled here.  Jesus’ philosophy of neighbor, however, was showcased by the Samaritan in this way: “What’s yours is yours and what’s mine is yours any time you need it.”

How should that philosophy of neighbor impact the way we do a business deal as committed followers of Jesus Christ?  The way we answer that question should make us think about our entire philosophy of life and not just our philosophy about how we do business.

What is your vision statement and what are your mission objectives in life?  Is your vision statement to get rich and are your mission objectives all the ways you can think making money?

What is your philosophy of neighbor?  Is your own personal vision statement in alignment with the philosophy of neighbor Jesus taught us?