How To Stay Salty

Feb 23, 2024

 “Salt is a good thing, but if the salt loses its salty taste, you can’t make it salty again. It is worth nothing.” Jesus


I attended a memorial service of someone I knew to be a follower of Jesus decades ago. He was what one would safely call a “salt of the earth” kind of man, but he didn’t die salty, from what I was told. Somehow that which had caused his present life to have eternal meaning had ebbed. There are many things that can bleach the Spirit-spice from life: bad health, financial woes, hope deferred, political disillusionment, the unexplained death of a loved one… the list goes on. There is no end of things that war against the STILL SALTY label we should wear to the grave.


The last thing you and I want is to gradually degrade to becoming a bland fake of the real thing, so I have been pondering the clues Jesus gave to staying salty. I think I see a Cycle of Saltiness that might keep us from the natural slide into mediocrity. Nowadays you can buy fancy salt grinders where variants such as pink salt, kosher salt, black salt and sea salt are mixed. In the preceding text I see four types of salt in the fiery-to-the-grave, better-as-you-get-older, more-fruit-in-old-age salt grinder of life.


  1. Surrender Salt

“If you come to me but will not leave…” “You must love me more than your…” – fill in the blank.

Jesus also spoke about surrendering to a more powerful king. One day each person on earth will surrender to a more powerful king, namely, King Jesus—Commander in Chief of Heavens Hosts. Saying I am a “follower of Jesus” (which seems to be more in vogue than saying “I am a Christian”) without leaving that which I know and rely on, without loving him more than everything else is denial, deception or lunacy.


  1. Sacrifice Salt

“Whoever will not carry the cross that is given to them…”

To keep my salt salty, I need to be willing to carry my cross. The alternative is to get offended at Jesus and say, “I thought you were a good God, but now I have setbacks and trials.” If I am not prepared to sacrifice I am setting myself up for tasteless times.


  1. Stick-to-it Salt

“This man began to build, but he was not able to finish.”

This is not really a parable about planning but an injunction to stay with Jesus until the work is finished. Until he is formed in us and we look like him—until we are mature in Christ—the job is not done. If you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and don’t yet see perfection… stick to it.


  1. Table Salt

Someone once said the problem with living sacrifices is that they crawl off the altar. We sustain saltiness by keeping our whole life on the table: if we decide to take care of things ourselves in case God does not come through we may still look like salt, but we won’t taste like or function like salt. Staying in the game keeps us from going lame. Committing to keeping our book of life open so God can pen the next line… especially when we don’t feel like it, standing when we feel like sitting, moving when we feel like settling, following the cloud when we feel like camping—these sustain our walk with Jesus until we are thrown back to the beginning of the salty cycle where we sprinkle surrender salt on the offering of our lives yet again.


“It is the same for each of you. You must leave everything you have to follow me. If not, you cannot be my follower.”