What does the Bible say about being “salt of the earth” people?
Mar 2nd, 2008 / Salt and Light
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age. (Titus 2:12—NIV)
The old expression that a person was a regular salt-of-the-earth kind of man comes from the biblical idea that believers are to be the "salt of the earth". Salt enhances flavor, heals, purifies, retards decay, and promotes general well-being. We refer to body-salts as being important for the healthy function of the body. Salt was so valuable a commodity in ancient times that Roman soldiers were paid in salt, and we still honor that tradition today by referring to our pay as our salary.
So what does God say He means by "salt of the earth"? Perhaps our text will shed light on the spiritual characteristics of biblical saltiness.
The life transformation which accompanies salvation is put before us in the "put-off and put-on" formula so familiar to students of the Bible. You are to put off the trappings of ungodliness and worldly lusts while putting on sobriety, righteousness and godliness.
As a worldling, our livery is distinctively secularizing (ungodly) and self-absorbed (worldly lusts). The believer’s armoire is now to be filled with attire befitting a life of practical holiness. Sobriety is the inward disposition of thinking right. Righteousness is the outward flow of acting right. Godliness is the upward devotion of loving right. These characteristics are to be chosen as carefully as we chose our daily garb.
The priorities of self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God are supremely appropriate, practical descriptions of being a salt-of-the-earth kind of person. The believer is called to display self-control in all interactions with temptations natural to life in this world and to rightly do God’s will in close communion with Him.
What would your neighbor and family say is your style of spiritual clothing? What outfit have you chosen to wear today? With what have you stocked your wardrobe?