SaltMatthew 5:13
“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.”

I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot this past week. Specifically, what does salt do, and what does it mean to be salt of the earth?

We use salt in cooking to bring out the flavor in foods. If there is too little salt, these same foods taste flat. You can always add more salt if you don’t add enough the first time, but if you add too much, it is irreversible. The salt overwhelms the other flavors.

What then does it mean when we are told to be the salt of the earth?

Over and over again, Christ tells us to serve each other. We are to help the poor, the widows and orphans. By doing so, we enhance what is good in this world.

But, like actual salt, we also need to be careful not to overwhelm. We overwhelm when we decide, in our infinite wisdom, what is best for someone without taking stock of the individual situation.

Sometimes we overwhelm people by not taking their norms of their culture into consideration such as if we give them food they cannot eat or, because of the destruction caused by a natural disaster, have no way to prepare.

Sometimes we overwhelm people when they try to tell us what they want or need, and we decide that we know what is best for them, disempowering them and forcing our will on them.

Just as salt is essential in our diets, service is essential to our lives as Christians. Enhance without overwhelming. It’s a tricky balance to achieve but when you do, the resulting dish will be pleasing to the palate and nourishing to the body.