From James Bond in Britain to Spy Kids in 3-D, we all love our espionage movies with a passion. It must be the combination of way cool gadgets, secret identities, and triumphing over the EEEEEVIL that lurks in every corner of the world - or maybe if you're like me, you just like to see stuff blow up… a lot.
You know who can really handle explosives? Angelina - (not Bradgelina, rumor has it that he had to stay home and babysit their 57 kids) - yep, Jolie is now known as Salt. Our Tomb Raider has now entered the spy vs. spy world as a CIA operative who is accused of being a sleeper agent for those pesky Ruskies. She's on the run for her life and trying to prove the accusations false, and yeah, a lot of stuff blows up.
Interesting that the writers of this film chose the name "salt" isn't it? Perhaps they were trying to shake up the summer a bit and add some flavor to the already action packed movie offerings? Either way, this flick should definitely quench people's thirst for 2 hours of answering the 'Who is salt?' question.
Interesting also that one of the primary ways that Jesus identifies His followers is as salt as well. Not that we are potential counter agents on the run so we need to dye our hair and generally destroy anything that gets in our way…even though that might be exciting.
No, we have a much bigger mission:
"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless" (Matthew 5:13).
"Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other" (Mark 9:50).
"Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!" (Luke 14:34-35).
In these three passages are a clear directive and an even clearer warning. In Jesus' day almost all your food choices were as bland as plain oatmeal, and as well, there was no refrigeration…so salt was an incredibly valuable commodity in bringing out flavor and preserving food. In fact, many Roman soldiers were paid with salt instead of money!
So the directive is simple: be salt with every situation and person that God puts on your plate. Get out of the shaker and bring out the God flavors of life like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. Spread out your Christ-like attitudes and actions so that you can help preserve what is good in the world.
Most of all, live in such a way that you make people thirsty for something. Be so crazy full of God's love for others and the good news of the gospel that your friends become aware of their spiritual dehydration and long to discover Jesus - the living water of eternal life.
And then there is the warning:
"But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless" (Matthew 5:13).
I know what you might be thinking…it's impossible for sodium chloride to "lose" its saltiness - right? And you would be correct. Except in Jesus' day, the salt licks had impurities mixed in, and if you left them out in the rain, the water would wash out the sodium chloride and leave the impure elements that had no 'salty' qualities. So on the outside it looked like salt, but it was worthless in terms of bringing out flavor and preserving food, so people just chucked them out in the street to help smooth out the roads.
And they will chuck you and me out too if we claim to follow Christ, but we've let the influence of the world wash out our desire and calling to be the salt of the earth. We'll be accused of being a sleeper agent for Satan, and our usefulness will be reduced to padding out the potholes of life.
I've heard that it's a healthy thing for people to cut their salt intake, but trust me…humanity's spiritual health is in desperate need for Christians to preserve and promote the gift of eternal life that comes through trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
Who is salt? You are salt! Let's get shaking!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Take some time this week to think about how 'salty' you are in terms of seasoning the lives of others and making them thirsty for Christ. Or in other words, if you were put on trial for being a 'salty Christian', would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Accelerant: Fan the Fire
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:6).
Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it (Luke 17:33).
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage -with great patience and careful instruction (2 Timothy 4:2).