by Bob Walsh
Feeling deprived at not having a belly button, I once asked my dad what they were used for. He told me that the belly button was for those times when you are laying on your back in bed watching TV; you can keep salt in there to dip your celery into it. Although an abdominal hernia at a young age deprived me of that odd luxury, I do adamantly, crave salt in my diet.
Salt is one of those daily commodities that can be either very good for you or very bad for you depending on the situation and the usage. If you have a history of high blood pressure, for example, you may choose to use it moderately if at all. On the other hand, if you have a history of zucchini-eating slugs in your garden, salt can become very helpful in chemical warfare.
In the Bible, salt is generally referred to with a positive connotation. There was, however, that one time in Genesis 19, when Lot’s wife became the first human salt shaker to stand out like a pillar in society when she looked back to Sodom and Gomorrah. The lesson there being that hindsight isn’t always 20-20 when it involves God’s judgments.
But generally, salt is used in the Bible to represent permanence, in-corruption, cleanliness and for spiritual preservation. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus says that believers are the “salt of the earth.” I suppose He could have said we are the “sweetener in the tea of life,” but He didn’t. We aren’t here to make the world easier to swallow, but rather, to cleanse it with the witness and testimony of Christ in our lives. The world is a wound that was opened during the fall of man, and salt will always burn in an opened wound as it heals. Paul writes the Colossians and tells them to “let your conversation be always full of grace and seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
As Christians we should be walking, talking saltines standing firm as pillars of the incorruptible righteousness offered by grace through faith in Christ. Even Jesus warns us in Matthew 5, not to lose our saltiness as to be thrown out and trampled by man. Therefore, as far as the Bible is concerned, there is no such thing as too much salt in our diets. We can hide in the pantry where we feel safe, or we can get out in our little world and shake things up for Christ. The choice is still up to us. And, thank God, we don’t even need a belly button to do it!