Blessed… Stay Salty

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet (Matthew 5:13, Common English Bible).

Chemically, it is almost impossible for salt to lose it’s saltiness. Sodium Chloride, common table salt, is an extraordinarily stable mineral. This mineral, itself tastes salty. Combined with other things, makes them taste more or less salty, depending on how much salt you place on other things.

About the only way for salt to lose its saltiness is for it to be absorbed by something else. Even then, if the salt is absorbed by say water, the water would itself become salty. If the water were left in the sun to evaporate, the residue left behind would be salt. For salt to lose it’s saltiness in water would require significantly more water than salt. Even then, when the water evaporated away, there would probably be some salt left.

So, what did Jesus mean when he talked about salt losing its saltiness? In Jesus’ day, salt’s most common use was in preserving meat. Meat would be heavily salted in an effort to slow natural decay. Salt was usually obtained from salt marshes. The salt would contain many impurities. Often because of these impurities, the salt was not usable in its primary function, preserving meat. Therefore, this unsalty, salt was worthless. It was thrown out into the street and trampled under foot.

The metaphor doesn’t work the same today. Our salt comes from salt mines and is pure salt. There aren’t usually any impurities present. That wasn’t so for the ancients.

Jesus’ implication, however, is as true today as it was in the first century. There are impurities in the world around us. There are things that can contaminate us and make us difficult at best to use. We become the salt that has lost it’s saltiness.

Think about it this way. If a person is an accountant and volunteers to help a church with its finances and he then embezzles church funds, would he be trusted again to use his knowledge of money to help the church with its bookkeeping? It wouldn’t happen in my congregation. This is a person who has lost his saltiness.

This is just one example. In recent years, well known Christians have been caught in lies that have brought down their ministries. Losing the truth is like losing our saltiness.

For most of us these are extreme examples but the same thing could be said for the person who spends Saturday night drinking and Sunday morning repenting. Or, what about the person who talks about love and then commits some form of abuse against others?

The list of possibilities is endless. When we live out these “ways of life” we, in effect, lose our saltiness. We lose it because we have probably lost the way God gave us to make a difference in the world. And, once we have lost it, it is difficult to impossible to ever bring it back again.

You and I, we need to be constantly aware of the impurities around us. They might make us lose our saltiness.

In what ways are you in danger of losing your saltiness?

Have a blessed day in the Lord and Stay Salty!

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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