There is a strange seasonal mystery that occurs at summer barbeques. Men, who have never darkened the doorsteps of a kitchen the rest of the year or helped in any meal preparations, suddenly head outdoors to cook. With a goal of becoming grill masters they use the choicest of steaks, working earnestly to season and darken to perfection, so that family and guests may enjoy the delicious flavor of every mouthwatering bite. Many even become competitive, guarding their secret seasonings with their very lives! Please forgive this American stereotype but it’s typically true, and certainly reflects our own family.
Whatever the season, taste is one of our most important senses. Our taste buds respond to substances that are sweet, salty, bitter or sour. The Bible has numerous references to salt, one of the most interesting being Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
How can our speech be seasoned with salt? Christians need to speak truths about God in their daily conversations in a manner that resembles sprinkling. A few positive remarks enhance and create a thirst for more biblical truth to be shared. People often respond by leaning in and asking more about the subject. On the other hand, most of us have tasted meals that have been ruined because they are overly salty. Those who share their faith in blunt, in-your-face confrontations usually thwart their own efforts, causing listeners to pull back and avoid future talks. One only needs to look at clogged arteries to realize the dangerous outcome of too much salt.
Ancient Hebrew practices used salt in their sacrifices (Lev.2:13) Salt was a covenant of friendship and a promise of fidelity (Num. 18:19) Newborn babies were even rubbed with salt, in hopes they would be truthful and have integrity.
In Matthew 5:13 Christ refers to His disciples as the salt of the earth, representing their loyalty, preservative qualities, usefulness and purification. He also warns of the danger of losing our saltiness. This is a spiritual metaphor of the dangers of truth being diluted by deviating from the scriptures. As a great chef masterfully uses salt to enhance other flavors, believers should share the spice of life.