But the fact of the matter is that it is absolutely essential.
Hyponatremia. That's what it's called when you don't have enough salt in your blood.
"Symptoms of hyponatremia include nausea and vomiting, headache, confusion, lethargy, fatigue, loss of appetite, restlessness and irritability, muscle weakness, spasms, or cramps, seizures, and decreased consciousness or coma." Don't worry, I collected that information from Wikipedia, so it must be accurate! :)
In order to really understand what Jesus was telling us, we're going to have to think more like a 1st century Jew who viewed salt as an incredibly valuable commodity, necessity of life, and symbol of everlasting covenants than as a 21st century American who views salt as something that sure tastes good but is typically something to be avoided because we already over do it with the salt on our french fries!
Did you know that God commanded every grain offering to be seasoned with salt? (Lev. 2:13)
Of course we know that salt is and especially was a preservative. Without refrigeration, it was absolutely necessary. That helps us to see at least one aspect of what Jesus was saying. As followers of Christ and children of God, we are called to come into contact with the rest of the world in order to keep it from going completely rotten! If that is true, then we should probably look around and ask, "how's it going?"
How is it going?If the world is getting more and more sexually immoral, could it be because the Christians are watching the same shows, wearing the same clothes, telling the same jokes, and dating the same way? If the world is getting more and more violent, could it be because Christians are rejecting Jesus' calls for submission and sacrifice? If the world is getting more and more addicted to technology and constant updates via cell phones, could it be that Christians are not modeling an addiction to the bread of life and the everlasting water? If our school systems are seeing more and more cheating, could it be because Christians are also buying the idea that the end justifies the means?
Sadly, Jesus already knew that many Christians would simply become like the world. And "if salt loses its saltiness how can it be made salty again?" The answer, of course, is that it can't. At that point, it serves no better purpose than to be thrown in the street.
It's a ridiculous thought to think about salt not being salty. It's even more ridiculous to think about Christians becoming more and more rotten along with the rest of the world because instead of being transformed, we are conforming (Rom. 12:2).
Conforming to the world as a Christian won't just kill your soul it will cause the world around you to become rotten even quicker!What a shame to see the rest of the world experiencing spiritual hyponatremia (Symptoms include nausea and vomiting from guilt, headache from stress, confusion from failed and misguided dreams, lethargy from selfishness, fatigue from being slaves to sin, loss of appetite for real food from God due to indulgence in cheap imitations of God's good gifts, restlessness and irritability from lack of purpose in life, muscle weakness due to never restraining impulses, spasms due to lack of emotional control, or cramps, seizures, and decreased consciousness or coma- i.e. the walking dead)
What an even greater shame for all of us who are Christians to cluck our tongues at the world's sickness and fail to see that hyponatremia is due to a lack of salt in the world...while we are the salt.