Salt by itself tastes pretty horrible. If you don't believe me, try a tablespoonful right now. Or go gulp down some saltwater next time you are at the ocean! Or do this fun challenge, next time you are out to dinner with someone, when they go to the bathroom dump as much salt as you can on their food and drink. Yum!
Although salt might be pretty gross by itself, it is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to cooking.
I always found it interesting that Jesus asks his followers to be the "salt of the Earth" and it got me thinking about how we can be "salt-like" without leaving a crappy taste in peoples mouth.
Here are three things that I noticed about salt that I think might help:
1. Salt isn't the main attraction.
There is no entree listed "Salt" at a restaurant. Salt brings out the flavor that is already in the things it has been added to. Each person you meet was made in God's image. Seek to draw out the best in the people around you instead of just asking them to eat some of your salt.
2. Too much salt can be sickening.
Salt really only tastes good when it is in the right proportion. It takes a thoughtful and intentional cook to know how much or how little salt to add. It also takes a thoughtful and intentional follower of Jesus to prayerfully sense how to season a conversation or relationship with the salt of God's love.
3. Salt should bring healing.
Tracing back to the Greeks, salt has been used in various ways as a healing remedy. Plato wrote, "The sea cures all ailments of man." Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine," often used salt in his practice.
The salt that we are sharing with others as followers of Jesus should lead to healing. This is what sharing the Good News is all about.
If the "salt" that you are sharing with others is grossing them out, maybe dial it back a little. Look for ways to season your relationships and conversations with salt that draws out the best in others, uses the right proportion, and brings healing.
If you don't, you might just end up leaving a bad taste in peoples mouth.
What do you think Jesus meant when he told us to be the "salt of the earth?"