‘Seasoned with salt’ is the phrase that has intrigued me since Sunday’s service a few weeks ago. Colossians instructs “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders…let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
I went deeper-diving into the benefits of salting. Of course, well-known facts say salt preserves food and adds or enhances flavor. The most interesting and less-known fact is perhaps what salt prevents to preserve its food.
Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that, if not kept in check, causes food poisoning. Salt rocks go to work on these bacteria, dehydrating their cell structure so that clostridium b. does not even have the chance to grow. We do not want to rid ourselves of all bacteria, however. What happens in situations where we need a healthy bit of bacteria like fermentation and good gut flora? Here is how salt works: salt does not actually annihilate the presence of all bacteria; it controls the environment, both suppressing the bad and allowing the good.
Isn’t it just like God to create words, being seasoned with salt, as also having a dual purpose? They build up the healthy and destroy the unhealthy.
At times, we may be dumped into a situation with a lot of bacteria to dehydrate. Other times, we may melt gently into the pot, enhancing the savory aromas already found there. In other words, be aware that your words are life-giving “…so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” We aren’t meant to become Christian factories, handing out the same answer everywhere. Remain salty, so that you may answer firmly in one circumstance, merrily in another, and graciously in both, showing evidence of the God you serve.
When in doubt, make it salty.