Being Sodium Chloride

Chris Hardy

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.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16

“…if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?”

For years I read this verse as a warning to believers not to stop sharing the great things of God’s kingdom with the rest of the world, otherwise you run the risk of becoming ineffective and lazy. I thought, the more you share the Good News, the more salty you become. Alternatively, if you keep the Good News to yourself and don’t share it, one day you may find yourself completely tasteless and without flavour. In other words, you will lose the spark you once had for telling others about Jesus.

It was only when I did an internet search for the properties of salt that I realised I had missed the point of this verse for years. This is what I found out – Salt is also known by its chemical name Sodium Chloride. Because of its inherent chemical structure, the two atoms (Sodium and Chloride) relate to each other in such a way to make a very stable ionic compound…But what on earth has this got to do with Matthew 5:13? It shows that salt cannot lose its taste. It is always salty. Jesus knew that the idea of salt becoming un-salty is absurd. In fact, it is as absurd as trying to hide an entire city built on top of a hill from being seen by anyone (v14). It cannot be done.

When we read the first line again slowly we see this – Jesus said to his disciples (and to believers today) “you are the salt of the earth” and “you are the light of the world”. It isn’t something that we become more or less of through our own actions but something that we are purely by knowing Him.

So, if we are salt and light, what does that look like in our everyday lives?

It looks like this. Salt is good for taste. When you are talking with someone, let them taste how good God is through the things you choose to talk about, the words you choose (as well as the words you refrain from using) or the way to respond to difficult situations.

Light is good for seeing. Wherever you are, let those around you see how good He is through the way you act, the way you spend money or how you respond when someone stops you in the street or asks you for something.

You are salt and light. What things can you do today, to show those around you just how good the Good News of Jesus really is?

Each year, in the lead up to Easter we send out our Being Salt & Light reflection at the beginning of each week of Lent. These weekly reflections focus on how we can be salt & light in different areas of our lives. Each reflections comes with two dares to inspire and activate you in evangelism.

If you would like to join the Being Salt & Light community this year there’s still time – find out more details and sign up before 5 March!

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