In 2020, calling someone salty is actually not good. Well, maybe more like 2018, I’m relatively sure that it’s not something we use anymore? But. Since I’m writing about it now, I’ll pretend like I know what I’m talking about. Anyways. This Sunday, Marty preached an incredible sermon about being salty, but, not that kind of salty. The original kind of salt. In week 2 of platform we talked about a short section of Jesus’ platform speech, the Sermon On The Mount. Jesus tells his hearers “you are the salt of the Earth…” But what does that really mean? If you’re not a chef, you know that salt makes popcorn delicious, and makes French fries perfect, but, what is this really about?
I did some digging, I’m not a cook, but I have spent some time in the kitchen, and I know that salt is somehow in Phoebe Buffay’s Grandmother’s family chocolate chip cookie recipe, and it’s also one of the key ingredients in a perfectly seasoned steak. How is that possible? According to one article I read (From a British site, so you know it’s good!) Salt is used as a universal flavour improver because at low concentrations it will reduce bitterness, but increase sweet, sour and umami, which is desirable for sweet recipes. But at higher concentrations it suppresses sweetness and enhances umami, which is good for savoury things. I’m not sure what umami is, but I think it matters!
That’s the thing about Jesus followers being salt, is that we have the opportunity to make everything better. Not to change it, but to bring out the natural goodness of what it is. That’s what good seasoning does. It improves the things around it, without drawing attention to itself. Marty said Sunday “Jesus is saying YOU are my agent of influence for good in the world.” That’s what Jesus was calling us to be. How can I do that? How do I influence people around me? I saw these 3 positives of salt in another article on the seasoning, and thought it was appropriate.
1.) Salt brings out the best in food. When I’m around people, do they come up to meet me? Do they join the temperature of the room I set? Do they stop complaining and start seeing positives? Or do I come down? Worse; do I bring the room down with negativity and complaints? Salt brings out the best, do I bring out the best in other people? In other situations? Is my social media bringing out the best in people?
2.) Salt can transform an entire dish. Am I an agent of change? It’s easy to go with the flow. To join in the jokes or the critics. It’s much harder to change the whole conversation. To point people in a different direction. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Has Jesus changed you? Gotten rid of the anger, the malice, the envy? ANd in turn, do you change the world around you?
3.) Go up, you can't go down. It’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to make a dish that gets too salty less salty. As followers of Jesus, as influencers of change, if we come on too strong, it’s hard to come back. But there is always beauty in slowly adding more. In slowly building relationships and allowing yourself to influence the people around you. It’s easy to come strong later, but if you start off too strong to begin with it’s hard to come back.
Christians should bring hope. Relief. Joy. For too long, people have been frustrated by our presence, or prepared for the fight. Jesus had a different plan in mind though. His vision was for us to be the ones who when we walked into a room people said “Things just got better.” Be those people. Make everything better.