Search on the Internet for ‘uses for salt’ and you will find over 119,000,000 results. It’s a popular topic. According to the Salt Institute there are over 14,000 known uses for salt and is among the most important minerals supporting our lives and health.
In fact, salt is so important that we can’t live without it! Sodium and chloride, the two major components of salt, are found in our blood, sweat and digestive juices; they are needed to regulate the fluid balance in our bodies. Sodium is also found in our nervous system and is used for electrical signalling; without it, our senses would be virtually disabled and we would be unmotivated to respond to our surroundings.
Because our bodies are incapable of producing our own sodium or chloride, we are dependent on getting these minerals from elsewhere.
… my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
It’s not a coincidence that the Earth’s surface is approximately 70% salt water and yet, God’s provision is greater still. Salt can be found all around us in: underground deposits, naturally occurring salt domes, dried up residues of ancient seas, salt lakes… And, as if that isn’t enough, God sends us even more on meteors that crash into the Earth’s surface. Talk about generosity!
In Resourcing the frontline, I told you that music is my primary love language. Even before I knew God existed, He spoke to me through song. One of the favourite medleys we sang in my high school choir was Godspell: ‘Prepare ye The Way of the Lord’, ‘Day by Day’, ‘Light of the World’ “… but if that salt has lost its flavour, it ain’t got much in its favour!”
You are the salt of the earth… – Matthew 5:13
So, if God calls us salt, then it must mean that:
a) we are significant and
b) there’s a huge variety of ways that God can use us in this world.
I want to encourage you to think about some of the ways we use salt in our physical world and relate that to how God can use us to affect the world we live in.
Food – another thing we can’t live without!
Food is what we put into our bodies and convert into energy so we can live. Here are five culinary uses for salt:
- Flavour – Intensify and deepen the flavours already present in the food.
- Preservative – Alter the conditions to inhibit growth of harmful mould or bacteria.
- Gauge freshness– Test if uncooked eggs are fresh.
- Preparation– Remove the minimal outer surface of food before making or serving.
- Safety – Extinguish grease fires in kitchens.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:5-6
Think of the words we speak as the food we share with the people around us. Good, quality food is not only more enjoyable, but it produces good, quality energy.
- Flavour – Bring out the best in people. Encourage one another. Call the good out of someone and they will rise to the call.
- Preservative – Change the environment around you; the words you speak, your actions… Inhibit the spread of harmful thoughts and behaviours.
- Gauge freshness – You know when something’s ‘off’. Please, let others know.
- Preparation– Sometimes we need to remove the outer surface without damaging what’s underneath in order to bring healing.
- Safety – Have you ever found yourself in a situation where tempers flare? The words you speak have the power to extinguish flames and make way for the matter to be resolved.
What other uses are there for salt?
In truth, salt is extremely versatile. Culinary use is only one of many and I’ve barely scratched the surface. There’s cleaning, gardening, other uses for our bodies including medicinal health and wellbeing… The list is huge.
Please share some of your insights about how we can be salt in the world by engaging in a conversation in the comments section below. I also encourage you to take the opportunity to pass this on and inspire others through Facebook, Twitter etc.