Jesus said, “If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?”
— Matthew 5:13 (Msg)
Disingenuousness has its roots in fear within social constructs where approval is a more powerful need than telling the truth.
Even at Bible study groups and other Christian community events, our needs of approval, perhaps in getting to know others, are far more powerful, oftentimes, than saying something right because it’s the truth.
Truth is what Jesus is talking about; but it’s only half the picture. Add to truth the value of grace and we suddenly have a great deal of saltiness in view. But, as Helmut Thielicke might say, salt bites. Very often the saltiness of the gospel message is an unsavoury one. We know this, again, by the amount of times we fall short of dealing truthfully in hard interpersonal situations.
Salt is a cleaner. It cleanses and corrodes. Salt erodes what is not pure from the pure thing so that, by chemical reaction, the pure thing may be all it was supposed to be. Salt facilitates integrity. Where integrity is broken down is where the saltiness is lost.
Chemically, being of related numbers so far as the ions (electrical properties) are concerned means salt has a broad-ranging effect as a cleaner: to bring things back to their original integrity.
As Christians, it’s God’s will that we be salt – “You are salt,” Jesus said – in all our circumstances. We need to exemplify the cleanly godliness of Jesus as his followers.
Of course, we will fall short and then it’s up to the humility of our integrity to confess our sin. Paradoxically, we gain respect from believers and non-believers when we confess our wrongs and do what we can to right them.
The commitment to live a life of truth is the sign of our saltiness.
Being a ‘salty’ Christian is about as big a challenge as any disciple of Jesus could be faced with. It requires courage, because the threat of rejection is ever present. It requires wisdom for discerning when and how to pipe up. It requires humility so we don’t appear judgmental. It requires honesty so we don’t fall into the trap of hypocrisy.
QUESTIONS in REVIEW:
1. To be a ‘salty’ Christian is obviously a recipe for potency. What could be the possible ways we might overdo being salty?
2. How do you find it hard to communicate truthfully in your relationships? Or, do you communicate ‘too much’ truth, or truth in unpalatable ways?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.