Seasoned with salt

salt-shaker pouring

As Christians, our words should reflect our relationship with Christ.

The Jewish people of the Old Testament received a myriad of commands from God instructing them on how to give an acceptable offering. When it comes to the grain offering, the Israelites receive these instructions in Leviticus 2:13: “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

With the coming of Christ, however, the Old Testament system of sacrifice and offering has transformed, with the new code replacing the old. Instead of offering grain, a bull, ram or sheep, the Bible tells us that we are to present to God a different kind of offering. Hebrews 13:15 posits, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

As Christians, the offering that we are to give to God is the very fruit of our lips. Jesus says this to his disciples in John 15:8, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Usually, my reading of this passage pertains to doing good works or acts of service and not necessarily conversation. Today, though, my perspective has changed.

For a moment, I would like to revisit the passage in Leviticus. Notice that it highlights the significance of adding salt to an offering. Why? Well, salt is the sign of covenant; in the case of Christians, it is the sign of covenant between God and us. Seeing that we are implored to offer God the fruit of our lips, salt is still very much required in our offerings as well.

Colossians 4:6 says as much, stating, “Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Christians are to show forth their covenant with God through seasoning their conversations with salt. This means that everything that proceeds out of the mouth of a believer is actually considered an offering to God!

Take Job for example. Despite losing everything that he had (his possessions, his health, his children) and being told by his wife to curse God and die, he replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Furthermore, the Bible tells us, “In all this, Job did not sin in what he said” (Job 2:10).

The children of Israel were notorious for their rebellion. A notable instance of this rebellion is found in Numbers 14. After being on the cusp of inheriting the promised land of Canaan—after sending the 12 spies into the land, 10 of which returned with a negative report—the people began to spew negativity. The Israelites had this to say in Numbers 14:3: “Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”

Ultimately, God responds to the people, saying, “I will do to you the very things I heard you say: In this desert your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me” (Num. 14:28-29).

If the words that we speak are supposed to be our offering to God, then surely grumbling is not something we want to present before him. Philippians 2:14 so eloquently states, “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” Very simply, these things are not to be found coming out of the mouth of a believer.

2 Timothy 2:23-24 offers, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” This command not only means to not initiate, but to not participate when being provoked.

No matter how much you may want to give someone a piece of your mind, you cannot, because it would sully your offering to the Lord. God more than understands your desire to let someone have it, because he was also tempted the same we are in the person of Jesus Christ—but was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). For this reason, Romans 12:14 commands us to, “bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

In acknowledging God in all of our ways (Proverbs 3:6), he very much desires to be the Lord of our conversation. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 expresses this desire: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

God’s will is that our words either be those of joy, prayer or thanksgiving. If a thought enters into our mind that does not adhere to God’s standard, it is not to be uttered. As believers, we need to be more cognizant of the words that we speak; not only our words to God, but also to others.

In essence, as the words we speak are our offering to God, God can either be pleased or displeased based on the things we say. The Cain and Abel test (Genesis 4) is, in effect, conducted each time we open our mouths.

We should continually ask ourselves, then, “is God pleased with my offering?”

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~ by christianballenger on May 23, 2011.

3 Responses to “Seasoned with salt”

  1. Really good……I had to read the last line like 25 times!

  2. Just wonderful. Love reading your blogs. They are wonderfully crafted and I look forward to the next ones. Sincerely, Tosca. (kalnok on Twitter).

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