34"Salt is good. But if salt loses its flavor, how will it become salty again? 35It has no value, neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. People throw it away. Whoever has ears to hear should pay attention."
People of Biblical times, who were often living in the dry, rough terrain of Israel, didn't have too much that they could use to make a fire for cooking and warming their homes. They would collect their animals' droppings, dry them out, and burn them. They discovered that, if they salted the manure, it would burn longer, brighter, and warmer.
While burning on the pile of pooh, the salt would undergo a chemical transformation and became something that wasn't salt anymore. It was completely useless. It could no longer be used to season or preserve food. And, if they tried to put it on fresh manure, it would actually inhibit the burning process. That's right--it would ruin the poop. Think about ruining poop for a second.
Jesus says that we are "the salt of the earth," but also asks what happens when salt loses the very thing that makes it salt in the first place. Salt loses its saltiness when it becomes impure--when it becomes so mixed with other elements that its properties are altered and it loses its ability to function.
Reread that last sentence and think about what that means for us, "the salt of the earth."
The Internet is full of images we shouldn't see. Song lyrics are full of ideas we shouldn't entertain. Some of our friends aren't walking very close to God, and sometimes the things they do look like fun--or at least don't seem to be hurting anybody.
The danger is that we would become so impure as to become something less than what God created us to be--unable to function as God-honoring, neighbor-loving people living abundant lives. "If salt loses its flavor, how will it become salty again?"
Spend some time in quiet, concentrated, reflective prayer. Ask God to reveal the impurities that are changing your properties, causing you to function differently than God intended. Ask God for strength and discernment as you endeavor to avoid these impurities going forward.
If today's devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.