“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” – Matthew 5:13 (NIV)
Jesus’s reference to His disciples as the salt of the earth reveals some very important truths about making change in this world. First, who we are and what we do matters. It is not inevitable that the world must be tasteless. We can make a difference! We can make the world better! We may not be able to make it perfect; but we can certainly make it better. We affect the world just as salt affects whatever it’s put into. If the world is too tasteless then it is because too many of us have lost our saltiness.
Secondly, it shows us that a small group with enough people can make a difference. ‘Small’ and ‘enough’ may appear as contradictory descriptions but on further contemplation, the meaning becomes clear. A tablespoon of salt cannot affect a barrel of soup much. At the same time, one does not need a barrel of salt to affect a barrel of soup. To make change, we need what I call a critical mass. This is a very encouraging thought. We don’t need everyone to care deeply about making the world better; we need only enough people. Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Thirdly, that Jesus refers to Christians as the salt of the earth, begs what kind of christians most of us are. If being christian is being salt of the earth, how is it that there are billions of people who claim to be christians and yet there are children in the world without food to eat? If there are truly more than 1 billion “salt” in a world with about 7 billion people, shouldn’t the world be more tasteful than it is? Pray that God will help you to be truly salt of the earth!