In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says,
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot // Matthew 5:13
What is interesting about that phrase, “no longer good for anything” is what it actually means. It means, “has become tasteless” in a general sense, but right at it’s root the word in Greek is “mórainó” which literally is, “to be foolish”. It is where we get the word moron from!
Fascinatingly, Jesus finishes the Sermon on the Mount with the parable of the wise and foolish builder. Using a very similar phrase to that in Matthew 5, as follows,
But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand // Matthew 7:26
Strongly, Jesus is saying “if you miss this and don’t do it – you are dull in your senses, and idiot.”
Wow. We had better take this seriously then . . . all that is sandwiched in between the picture of salt in Matthew 5 and the picture of the foolish builder in Matthew 7 is what those who are wise, those who have listened will do. The contrast with the lazy and foolish builder is the one who has built on a rock. If we grasp and live and dwell with Jesus; if His teaching is our foundation – we can be the salt that seasons – bringing goodness, hope and love to this world.
How do we know if we are being salty then, what should be flowing from our hearts, our minds and our lips?
S. Serve. Being a follower and friend of Jesus is marked by our willingness to serve others – not seeking credit or glory, pats on the back or kudos for doing it. Serving because that is what Jesus teaches and that is what Jesus does.
A. Appreciate. Being a follower and friend of Jesus is marked by appreciating the created world around us and appreciating what we have, all we have is a gift from God. We see – and appreciate – the “made in the image of Godness” of others. We see with the eyes of Jesus.
L. Listen. Being a follower and friend of Jesus is marked by our desire to listen. To listen and notice all that is around us. In particular to listen to those around us. We are not just waiting for our turn to open our mouths, but listening to the needs, the heart cry, the pain and the joy and the delight – our interest comes from the Spirit of Jesus within us who is always attentive and always ready to listen to us.
T. Tell. Being a follower and friend of Jesus is marked by our sharing His story. Telling it. We will “tell” of his wonders, his grace, his goodness, his love. He is the bringer of life and hope. He is all that is good and bright and true. We cannot tell this story is we do not serve, appreciate and listen.
So, this weekend (or whenever you might read this) don’t be a moron. Have a think :
Who could you serve?
What or who do you need to appreciate?
Who needs you to listen?
What story do you have to tell of the goodness of our Saviour?
Let’s be salt.