Salt of the Earth

I read a fascinating interview (link to article) with Michael Moss about his new book Salt, Sugar, Fat that delves into the food processing industry.

In the interview he unveils a fascinating fact about salt:

When it comes to salt, what was really staggering to me is that the industry itself is totally hooked on salt. It is this miracle ingredient that solves all of their problems. There is the flavor burst to the salt itself, but it also serves as a preservative so foods can stay on the shelves for months. It also masks a lot of the off-notes in flavors that are inherent to processed foods.

This reminded me immediately of the Sermon on the Mount:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. – Matthew 5:13 (NRSV)

What Does It Mean To Be Salt?

If you go through the quote from Moss, here are some of the highlights:

  • Salt solves problems
  • Salt tastes suddenly refreshing
  • Salt preserves other foods
  • Salt masks the impact of other bad tastes

Do you think Jesus was referring to something like that when he said we are the salt of the earth? What would it look like if Christ-followers solved problems, left a refreshing impression, helped others be their best, and helped negate some of the evil in the world?

A Refreshing Story

I played basketball with the same group of guys for several years. Some were Christians, others…not so much. Although I started playing with them when I was in the workplace, they all knew when I started attending seminary.

On my last week in town, one of the guys told me, “I had to re-evaluate Christians because of you.”

As an aside, it is entertaining to me that the almost universal response I get on the court when someone learns I’m a pastor is, “Oh, I’m so sorry I cursed!” Perhaps part of my saltiness was not being offended? Perhaps the bar is really that low for being surprisingly refreshing!

Discussion Starters

  • When have you (or someone you know) been “salty” for Jesus?
    • Solved a problem
    • Left a refreshing impression
    • Helped someone else be their best
    • Helped negate some evil in the world
  • How would you love to be “salty” in the near future? Do you have an opportunity?
  • Do you want to be “salty” or not? Why?