You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Relate: It is still early enough in the year that everyone is still working on their New Year’s diets. Give it a few weeks or so, and you won’t hear anyone talking about their eating habits but since we are less than a week in, most people are still trying their hardest to stick to those resolutions. It seems like every year, there’s a different fad, and this year it is keto. To be honest, I’m still on the fence about this thing but it seems like everyone around me is talking about the benefits of this plan. To be honest, high fat and low carb eating sounds less like a healthy diet choice and more like a kid’s dream. I was always one of those kids who would try to get my hands on the fattiest piece of meat I could off the dinner table. When my parents were telling me, “cut the fat off of that and throw it away,” I should have just told them, “I’m on a keto diet.”
Maybe it was last year, or two years ago, or ten… I don’t pay attention to these things, but at one point the big thing was cutting salt completely out of your diet. Everywhere you went, there were “low salt” and “no salt” items for sale even more so than the normal. Personally, I think that is false advertising. A more truthful label would say, “low flavor” or “no flavor.” You take the salt out of a meal and it just doesn’t taste as good. I know some of you are going to try and comment rebuttals on this but let’s be honest, deep down you know it is true.
More than just flavoring your food, down through most of history, salt was used to preserve it. In these days of refrigeration, it is not needed so much for this function, but up until these modern times, it was much easier and more practical for people to salt the food they wanted to keep than to try and keep it cool. Salt preserved food in two ways. First, it sucked the fluid out of it. Also, salt was toxic to many types of harmful microorganisms. Just as salt sucked the fluids out of meat, it would suck the fluids out of small organisms causing them to burst. These harmful organisms could not survive and thrive where salt was present.
React: In the same way, where the church thrives, spiritual decay cannot. Those things that would cause spiritual darkness and decay cannot thrive in a community that has an active church doing its job. When you and I are actively about the Kingdom’s business, sin cannot find a comfortable and easy foothold within our spheres of influence. Does that mean there will be no sin? No. Does it mean that everyone around us will automatically start living a godlier lifestyle? Of course not. But it does mean that it will be easier for individuals and communities to choose right when Christians and the Church are being the salt that we should be. Instead of us praying that God judge the wicked for their ungodliness, we should be praying that God would better use us to slow and prevent the spread of spiritual decay. We should be praying, “God, help me to be salty.”
Help me to be salty. In a world of sin where spiritual decay is happening all around be help protect and preserve. In a dull and mundane life, help my joy and creativity bring flavor. Let the world see You through me and through my church. Help me to be salty.
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To read previous devotionals taken from the January 5th The River Walk devotionals click below: