A couple of days ago I made a post about Matthew 5:13. As promised, I will add more thoughts on this verse. To recap, I previously discussed how Christians are supposed to bring glory to God through our lives so that others crave more of Jesus after seeing us. The question left standing is “how?”.
“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.” Matthew 5:13
Christians best maintain their saltiness by being set apart from the world. If you’ve spent any amount of time in church, you’ve probably heard the phrase “you should be in the world but not of the world.” I know I have. But what does that mean exactly? Where is the line? When praying before his crucifixion, Jesus asked his father to protect his current and future disciples from the devil.
I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. John 17:15-16
Jesus makes two points here: his followers are to remain in this world for the duration of their time and they don’t belong to this world. The same is true for modern believers as well. God has each of us in our current situations for a reason. He doesn’t want us to run from the world, but he also doesn’t want us to live like the world. We are called to live in this world, but if we begin to act like we belong to this world, our salt starts to lose its potency. In each individual life that non-conformity may look different, but it always calls for the individual to examine his/her actions in accordance to God’s word and glory. This may mean speaking out when you feel uncomfortable, wearing different clothing, or missing a ballgame for church. Your actions, when your heart is seeking to please God, should make people crave God.
Paul pleaded with the Roman church to set themselves apart for the world by comparing their bodies to a sacrifice. That word may mean little to us, but for a group of people reading the Old Testament as recent history, the system of sacrifices was easily understood.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
We remain salty by setting ourselves apart from the world. We do that by following the guiding of the Holy Spirit placed within us. It won’t necessarily be easy always because it is a battle, but God always gives the strength necessary to persevere.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. Galatians 5:16-17
So don’t worry about losing your saltiness if you’re remaining plugged into God and listening to his direction for every aspect of your life, whether it’s a job offer, a grocery line, or a movie to watch. Let God guide you in the big and little things of this life.
There will be one more part of this small series of blog posts about what to do if you find yourself feeling less than salty.