Pastor Cuba referenced Matthew 5:13 (NIV) which says, "You are the salt of the earth..." In this verse, Jesus is talking to crowds of people who'd been following Him from city to city to hear His teaching and see Him perform miracles. He was saying to them that if they were His followers, they should be "the ingredient" that others need to better "taste" and understand His teachings. They were to be the living "ingredient" that others "taste" to know what it looks like to follow and be like Him. Although Jesus was speaking directly to the followers of His time, it was a parabolic teaching that applies to all of His followers-- the followers then, the followers now, and the followers to come. We (Christians) are all the salt of the earth.
After Pastor Cuba referenced the verse, He took it a bit further. He talked about some of the natural uses and basic benefits of salt. He said salt was used for this and salt was used for that, but he ended with that phrase--the phrase that won't leave me alone. He said...
"...and SALT MAKES PEOPLE THIRSTY."
This is true for our physical bodies. The salt in the foods we eat does make us thirsty. (Quick Science Note: Salt acts like a magnet and pulls water out of our cells. The cells send signals to let the brain know that they need water to dilute the salt. This is when we begin to feel thirsty.) I immediately thought of myself and my ongoing love affair with potato chips. I could seriously eat them all day! But as much as I enjoy chips, I can't eat them without a drink nearby that I sip constantly. The times that I've eaten chips without a steady drink, I experienced dry, cotton mouth, and my body screamed for fluid to offset the salt intake. And no drink did the job like water.
I've been asking myself, "Iantha, are people thirsty when they're with you? Do people desire the living water, Jesus, after 'tasting' your presence? Do they want to know more of who He is after seeing who He is in you? Do they desire to follow Him and be more like Him because of how He lives in you? Or has your salt lost its flavor (effectiveness), like Matthew 5:13 goes on to say? Is there no thirst at all?
When people are around me, there should be something about me that's flavorful. The salt of my speech, my conversation, my kindness, my compassion, and my love should reflect Him. My reactions to situations should reflect Him. Where I spend my time should reflect Him. My relationships should reflect Him. My LIFE should reflect Him. All of that salt should make them thirsty. And not thirsty for me or to be like me, but to be like the One who makes me that way. They should want to know who He is when they 'taste' my life.
And what about you? When people are with you, are they thirsty to know Him, the living water, who if they drink of Him, they'll never thirst again? (John 4:10-14) Are you making people thirsty?
- Are we joining in conversation with coworkers about others in our workplace?
- Is our speech wholesome?
- Are we building people up, encouraging them, and complimenting them, or are we making sly jokes and tearing them down?
- Are we loving like He loves?
- Are we taking cheap shots at people on social media with blanket statements that target them?
- Are we creating and posting crude memes?
- Are we honest?
- Are we catty, conniving, and/or crafty?
- Do we scheme and plot others' demise?
- Do we obey and respect authority?
I was convicted by the Holy Spirit on some things very recently that made me take a long, hard look at myself and measure the effectiveness of my salt. You should do the same. And we should do it often. Let's not have our salt lose its flavor. Let's make people thirst.