July 2, 2014
READ: Matthew 5:13-16
You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavour? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless (v.13).
I usually think about salt in the context of what I consume, like when my doctor repeatedly ‘nudges’ me to stop using so much of the stuff. But salt isn’t just something we sprinkle on chips. In the ancient context, it also preserved food, was used in offerings and was rubbed on newborn babies as an act of purification (Leviticus 2:13; Ezekiel 16:4). With that in mind, salt is a symbol of our unique character as believers in Jesus—that we are set apart, blessed, useful and holy.
Salt is also an incredibly hardy compound, something that’s difficult to destroy. It has a high melting point, and when smashed it simply creates smaller and smaller grains. But there’s an easy way to get rid of salt—just add water! You can dissolve it in increasing amounts of liquid until the salt is so diluted—its concentration so low—that its effects are negligible.
This reminds me of what can happen when our faith becomes diluted. Faith will often remain intact in the face of terrible hardship because—like salt—it’s designed to be strong, stable and enduring. But also like the white stuff, the easiest way to get rid of faith is to water it down. We dilute it with worldly priorities and concerns. Nothing serious or criminal, just a little bit of the world and its values absorbed in small quantities. In time, our faith—once strong and potent—can become undetectable. It can be watered down into nonexistence. And that’s why Paul and John are so insistent that our faith and our lives must not become diluted by the world and its values (Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15).
Faith can endure through trials of the worst kind. But if it becomes diluted, what good is it? —Peter Chin
365-day plan› Matthew 6:19-34
Read John 15:18-25 to see how Jesus describes our relationship with the world.
How has your faith carried you through an intense trial? What are some specific ways your faith is in danger of being diluted?