The Salt of the Earth, Part 1

Matthew 5:13

Ever smelled old, rotten meat?

Remember forgetting for several weeks something you put in the refrigerator? There is an odor that accompanies decay that’s like nothing else. Down in Houston where I was raised, we were only fifty miles from the seaport city of Galveston. Delicious, fresh seafood was available in numerous restaurants in that area—and still is. But there were other ways we used to use seafood, especially shrimp.

When a friend would get married, one of our favorite tricks was to secretly pull off the hubcaps of his getaway car and stuff them full of shrimp. It was great! Those shrimp wouldn’t make any noise as they sloshed around hour after hour in the heat of South Texas. But the result was unreal. After two or three days of driving, parking in the sun, stop-and-go traffic, the bride (bless her shy heart) would slowly start sliding over closer to the door. She would begin to wonder if maybe her beloved groom had forgotten his deodorant. As the day wore on, he would begin to wonder the same about her! All the while, those little shrimp were doing their thing in each wheel. Finally (and sometimes they wouldn’t discover the trick for over a week!), young Don Juan would pop off a hubcap—and I don’t need to tell you the result. Old shrimp inside a hot hubcap for a week would make a skunk’s spray seem like a shot of Chanel No. 5. It is gross! To keep shrimp, you must preserve them. If you don’t, they perish. Years ago, salt was used as a preservative. Today, we use ice.

Now, think of this earth as shrimp when you read these words of Jesus: “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).

A society characterized by savage violence and the darkness of depravity and deception will, without a preservative, deteriorate . . . and, ultimately, self-destruct. Because servants of Christ are like salt on society, our influence is essential for society’s survival.

Are you being salty?

Servants of Christ are like salt on a decaying society; our influence is needed for its survival. Are you being salty?

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.