The comparison with salt

Matthew in a painted miniature from a volume of Armenian Gospels dated 1609, held by the Bodleian Library

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Matthew 5:13.

Salt has two qualities: it hinders corruption and it adds flavour to the food. Similarly, a faithful Christian exerts a moderating influence on his fellowmen through his conduct, often without knowing it. His behaviour even causes those who normally have no thought of God to show restraint or caution and sometimes even to pay respect.

If, however, the believer loses his moral credibility and authority, which spring from his fellowship with God, he is then “good for nothing”. His testimony is ineffective through the compromises he makes. This is the clear explanation of the Lord’s words above with an earnest undertone.

By means of the gospel we have found the Lord as our Saviour. In addition, He has become our example, our Master and the content of our life. We should live to honour Him in this world. If we adopt something of His character in our life, as He revealed it as the One devoted to God, then we are sanctified. We disseminate, as it were, a certain “flavour”, a freshness similar to what Paul wrote: “Thanks be to God who … through us diffuses the fragrance of his knowledge in every place” (2 Corinthians  2:14). For this reason it is important that our thoughts are formed by the Person of the Lord Jesus and we obey Him! Then our life will have the moral strength that corresponds to God’s holiness and the beneficial freshness that testifies of the new life within us.

Image: By Unknown author – The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, CC BY 4.0,