Introduction - Boy, are we all different! The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests. Aren't we glad we are not all the same--dull...
Jesus left us with a powerful challenge: we are to be salt and light.
We hear a lot about the light. Everybody likes light. It's warm and glowy and helps us see. Not a lot of negative things to say about light. But notice how we don't hear a lot today about being salt. Jesus warned us not to lose our saltiness or we are no good to anyone. So what does it look like when we lose our saltiness?
Salt is a necessity of life. Remove it and nothing tastes right. Food rots. Bodies stop functioning properly. Animals go crazy to get a taste of salt when they've been without it. But salt isn't always wanted. No one wants it on their chocolate cake. Or in their hot tea. And too much on anything makes it unpleasant. It is also an irritant. Get it near a wound or open sore and it feels like the enemy. The salt never changes its properties. The difference is in how it is received.
And therein lies the problem. We shy away from being salt because above all, we fear not being received. We avoid any possibility that we may be misunderstood, disliked, or unwanted. We claim it is for the Gospel's sake, but we're not fooling God. In order to be true representatives of Christ, we cannot base our saltiness on how we think our message will be received. Jesus certainly didn't and His saltiness got him crucified. Was He wrong?
When the salty message of Jesus gets too near sin, it becomes an irritant. Most people don't want to hear that they are sinners in need of saving. That's irritating. They don't want to hear about hell, judgement, and absolutes. There is danger of being rejected in proclaiming such truth. So we become bland, insipid, watered down, and inoffensive. We call it positivity, encouragement, or love. But when the whole counsel of God has been reduced to a Bible-tainted religiosity designed to make people feel good about themselves, we have lost our saltiness.