By James R. Henderson
In some areas of the world salt can be difficult to come by. Occasionally it goes stale and seems to lose its essential saltiness.
A Congolese tribe has a proverb that goes “Amby’ofel’ekae, bokw’onko bobe.” A rough translation is, “Stop finding fault with greens; that salt is bad.” It means that if the salt is off, then use some herbs to season the meal. Sounds like a healthy idea, doesn’t it?
Jesus explained that tasteless salt is worthless, fit only to be thrown out. “Salt is good,” he said, “but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it?” (Mark 9:49-50, NKJ). His answer to us is to “have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” Somehow a well-seasoned life is connected to living peaceably with other people. Matthew’s version of the same story has Jesus proclaiming that we “are the salt of the world” (Matthew 5:13).
What does Jesus mean? I think he means that our lives should be seasoned with grace. The grace we have received is meant to flavor the lives of others around us. Sometimes, however, we let our grace grow stale and we are of little help to anyone. The grace Jesus gave us should not be sitting unused in some cupboard, growing old and stale. It is to be put to use, enriching the lives of others.