Who Influences Whom?

by Stan Mitchell
“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet” (Matthew 5:13, ESV).
I remember as a small boy watching my father slaughter a cow. It would provide meat for our family for the best part of a year. We lived in a remote part of Rhodesia, far from electrical lines and freezers. Mom mixed powdered milk because we didn’t have a fridge.
So how did we prevent that precious meat from rotting in the African sun, the big green flies buzzing sleepily around the carcass, our food spoiled, even dangerous to eat?
The answer is that Dad would rub coarse salt into the meat, a method of preservation as ancient as the Bible itself. When he spoke of salt being salty, Jesus was not speaking of the seasoning’s ability to add flavor to a meal, as pleasant as that may be; he was speaking of salt’s ability to preserve, to prevent meat from becoming rancid and maggot-filled.
So it is with the Christian, rubbed into the texture of society; he heals and preserves, if he genuinely lives the Christian life that he ought. The real question regarding the Christian and society is this: who influences whom? Does he succumb to the rotting morals of society, or does society benefit from his strong, distinctive qualities?

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