Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

How much salt do we need?


You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.—Matthew 5:13 (NASB)

I don’t know why, but I’ve never been a salt person. I rarely pick up the salt shaker and add salt to anything. I wouldn’t say that I hate salt, but there aren’t many occasions when I eat something and say, “This needs more salt.”

However, if something is underseasoned, I still notice it. The fact that I don’t pick up the salt shaker is probably due to my upbringing as well (my mom also frowned on the practice), but I still usually stay away from the salt for fear of oversalting my food and completely ruining it.

I just realized that I’m sounding really OCD about my condiments just now.

As Christians, I think we sometimes take Jesus’ teaching about salt with too much gusto. The image of the follower of Christ that most people have as a gay-hating Republican that wants to shove religion down everyone’s throats is equivalent to taking an entire salt shaker and dumping it into someone’s food.

You haven’t seasoned the dish… you’ve ruined the flavor and left a bad taste in someone’s mouth.

Do we compromise the truth? Absolutely not. But I think that the true message of salt that Jesus is talking about is to sparingly use that salt just enough every day to make the lives of those around from getting too flavorless. We need to look for ways to love, support, listen to, encourage, pray for, and bless our neighbors, co-workers, and even strangers like the cashier lady at Walmart. I think we can extend grace to those who don’t know Christ while keeping our salt from becoming “unsalty”.

How about we do all these things with no strings attached? Sure, you can tell people you’re a Christian, you go to church, you have a saving faith in the Savior’s work on the cross and a personal relationship with Him… but don’t stop doing it because they don’t jump at your invitation to go to church at the first opportunity. Don’t give up and say they’re the seed that rejected the Word of God. Don’t turn on them and talk about how they’re a God-hating Philistine because you did all this stuff for them and they didn’t reciprocate. And especially don’t say those things out loud, even if you might be thinking them.

Because the moment you start making the situation about what you did for others, it becomes the moment that it stops being about what Christ did for all.

And, unfortunately, that’s also the tipping point for letting the salt shaker run out.

Are you influencing others? Are you over-salting? Is there such a thing as too much salt?


5 thoughts on “How much salt do we need?

  1. Hey Russ, thanks for commenting on my blog! I hope you and your wife find a place in your new church where you can grow.

    I always wondered about this passage, how can salt become unsalty? Then someone told me it’s not that it becomes unsalty, it’s that it gets too many impurities to be useful. Just something to think about.

    Anyway, hope to see you around and about again!

    • Good point… I hadn’t considered that. And if you compare it to salt being used with food, it would be kind of gross and unappealing too.

  2. I like the analogy you use about too much salt here, Russ. By the way, I’m also the same way with the salt shaker. You are not alone!

  3. I think you put up a great point! I too am not a huge fan of salt, and I think as Christians at times it can become easy to over-salt things. Specifically issues, issues that tear churches in half. When it becomes about us we have to oversalt our to make us look better, the message of Jesus does not need to be oversalted. Hey if you get a chance check out my page and tell me what you think! God Bless. Great blog its very thought-provoking.

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