Hint of Salt

Title: Hint of Salt
Category: Devotion
Subject: Salt of the Earth

Hint of Salt
                    Johnny L. Sanders, D.  Min.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty?  It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.”  (Matt 5:13, HCSB)

You, meaning born again Christians, are the salt of the earth.  What is the function of salt?  It preserves, flavors, and contributes in other ways to our well being.  Some seventeen years ago I had a serious heart attack.  A nurse told me it was the kind you have when you do not live to get to the hospital.  I had gone to my doctor on Monday and he said he didn’t believe it was my heart.  Then on Tuesday I went to my health club, but didn’t feel like working out after I got there.  I left to drive home and every time I looked for a place to turn it seemed that I was blocked.  Then, I crossed to Lea Joiner Bridge over the Ouachita River between Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana, and almost immediately after crossing over the bridge and getting into the right lane, I found Cypress Street (Hwy. 80) open and for some reason I turned right on a street I normally avoided.  There are four lanes, but no median, and some times drivers speed up to try to make the next traffic light.  You normally have to watch very carefully, but this time the street was clear, and as soon as I settled down on Cypress the thought came to me, “It doesn’t make sense to drive all the way home and then have to drive back some 18 to 20 miles to the hospital.  I should stop at ER now.”

I turned onto Thomas Road, and then as I approached the drive way into the Glenwood Medical Center ER parking lot I realized that I had to find a parking space near the entrance because of some damage done to my feet by two so-called foot specialists a number of years earlier.  As I turned into the driveway I saw a parking space directly in front of the door to ER.  I walked inside, knowing how long it usually takes to get into ER after getting into the waiting room.  However, when I walked into the area where patients stop to tell the lady at the window why they are there, I saw that both windows were occupied.  As I was standing the wondering whether or not I could stand long enough to get to see the person who did the scheduling, I found myself asking, “Do I feel like standing here long enough to get in to see the ER doctor, or should I drive on home?” 

As soon as I asked myself that question the door opened and a nurse asked, “Can we help you?”  That just doesn’t happen in ER!  The nurse led me back to a room and asked me to lie down on an examining table, and called the ER doctor into see me.  They kept asking if pain was radiating out anywhere from my heart: left arm, shoulder, back, etc.   It was not, but I worked out with heavy weights and my family practitioner thought I had pulled a pectoral muscle, and apparently the ER doctor agreed because he was trying to release me when I had the heart attack.  And it was a big one.

The next morning I found myself in a strange bed in the ICU at Glenwood.  In time, someone brought my breakfast, and then informed me that I would be on a low sodium diet from now on.  But to make up for it, they gave me a small package of ground herbs.  I opened it to sprinkle it on my eggs an grits and the smell nearly knocked me out of the bed!  It was horrible.  I still don’t want to smell it, but I can get a salt substitute that works well enough.  I have been using it for years and I have no problem with it.

I had to learn to shop for low sodium products and take a strong diuretic to prevent a dangerous fluid build up in my lungs.  I looked for crackers and chips that were marked, “Low Sodium.”  Then one day as I was shopping I saw something new, something I assumed was used to make the product more marketable to some consumers.  There on the side of a box of Wheat Thins were the words,  “Hint of Salt.”  My first thought was, “here we go again!  It’s all about marketing.”

After several years of shopping for certain things that carry the label, “Hint of Salt.”  I soon adjusted to the Hint of Salt products, especially the crackers and chips.  Then, one day a thought occurred to me: Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty?”  After listening to, and observing some people who profess to be Christians, I am convinced that many people who profess to be the salt of the earth need to wear the label, HINT OF SALT.
Let me stress again: Salt is not bad.  In fact, salt is good.  You may have heard someone discussing a recipe for shrimp gumbo and at some point they may say, “add a pinch of salt.”  Salt flavors, salt preserves, and salt may enhance certain spices to make the dish better.  I am used to eating things with a “hint of salt”, and even that helps.  However, it is sad when we look at a professing Christian and discover, not the “salt of the earth” - just a HINT OF SALT.  Suppose someone says, “I am a Christian, but I like to go to he casinos.”  Is the problem “a hint of salt” or is there simply no salt at all?  You and I may not be qualified to say there is no salt at all, but any mature Christian should recognize at “hint of salt.”  So, let’s play this little game:

1.  Jimmy claims to be a Christian, but watches R rated moves - HINT OF SALT?
2.  Sally says she loves Jesus, but consistently talks about Jane - HINT OF SALT?
3.  Gloria claims with obvious pride to be an agnostic, not an atheist - NO SALT?
4.  Billy is a church member who is addicted to pornography  - HINT OF SALT?
5.  Bob heard a fellow church member using profanity as if used to it - HINT OF SALT?
6.  Sue saw an Sarah Beth wearing a strapless bathing suit at pool - HINT OF SALT?
7.  George heard Brad expressing his lust for Sarah Beth - HINT OF SALT?
8.  Phillip is always in church, but loves to tell off color jokes - HINT OF SALT?
9.  Tommy sings in the choir, but shouts God’s name in vain at work - HINT OF SALT? 
10.  Certain people always say, I am a Christian - but....  - HINT OF SALT?

Please feel free to expand on this list.