Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. (Matthew 5:10-13 NKJV)
Salt is one of the ways the Lord portrays the Church. Salt is used for many things, all of which have been used to talk about the Church: it’s a preservative, a covenant guarantee, painful in a wound, an antiseptic for newborns, and an herbicide to stop defeated enemies from growing crops. In this passage, Jesus is saying that we are the thing which makes the bitter taste of life more tolerable. The presence of the Church is supposed to positively impact a defiled, merciless world. The danger is that the salt loses its flavor. It’s still salt, but it no longer provides seasoning. It is “good for nothing.”
The salty folks Jesus was describing in The Sermon on the Mount are catching flack for their “weird” lifestyle and their public faith in Him. He told them to rejoice when treated badly. That’s the opposite of complaining, and it’s really weird! In my favorite “flavor” reference, Jesus tells a dinner party that to the extent they cling to their prized possessions, their earthly position, and their own strength, they are worthless. He said it this way, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 14:33-35 NKJV)
As we head to the reunion of the saints today, let’s ask ourselves, “Am I still flavorful?” Give it some real thought. We are supposed to be irritating to some, inspirational to others simply by our lifestyle. What we are never to be is bland. Rather than conforming our faith to the world, how about we live our faith in the world and then rejoice when they react. Salty or worthless? I’m going for salty, how about you?