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I recently had a dental procedure and the doctor told me to stop using my current mouthwash and to instead do warm salt rinses 3 times a day until my mouth is healed. He went on to explain that the wound in my mouth would benefit from 3 main characteristics of salt.
- Salt has antibacterial properties and can therefore minimize the risk for infection.
- Salt is abrasive. A warm salt solution is gentle yet effective at cleansing or washing away any build up that may accumulate around the open wound.
- Lastly, due to osmosis, certain fluids naturally move from an area containing less salt to an area containing more salt. When the wound is flushed with a solution concentrated with salt, the fluids in the wound area will be drawn away from the wound and drawn into the solution itself. This, in turn, reduces swelling and inflammation.
As he was explaining this to me, I immediately thought about Matthew 5:13a. This passage of scripture says that “[we] are the salt of the earth. . .” Turns out, as disciples of Christ we have a duty to carry out. We live in a broken world with many wounded people. The Lord has made a treatment plan for the healing of these wounds, and it involves you! Yes, you. Have you ever reflected on all the hurt, pain, anger, and injustices in our world and, as songwriter Matthew West put it, shook your fist at Heaven asking “God, why won’t you do something!?”
Well, He did “do something.” He created you and me. His desire is that we model the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that fully demonstrate His character and the character of His disciples.
When we prayerfully make conscious efforts to display these qualities, we are positioning ourselves and those around us to benefit from 3 main characteristics of “the salt of the earth.”
- When we assume our roles as the “salt of the earth,” the infectious strongholds of our enemy can be healed. Loved ones who have accepted a situation as unchangeable even though that situation is contrary to the will God, can experience a renewal of their minds.
- As the “salt of the earth,” we are called to gently yet effectively facilitate the washing away of enticements and temptations that can build up over time. We all struggle. It is the role of disciples, followers of Christ, to hold one another accountable. As we do this in love, we will see fewer chains holding us down and more spiritual growth and faith holding us up.
- Just as salt has the ability to draw certain substances to itself, disciples of Christ have the ability and the charge to draw the lost to Christ. Therefore, we must make it a priority to exemplify Him every chance we get.
In the ancient world, salt was very valuable. The Greeks thought it contained something almost divine. It was used to pay Roman soldiers. Not being “worth his salt” was the reputation of a soldier who did not carry out his duties. As believers, let’s be “worth our salt!” Let’s be the anti-infective, cleansing, drawing body He designed us to be.
“. . . You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 2 Peter 2:9
“You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13
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