In upstate New York, where winter weather causes treacherous driving conditions, salt is generously scattered on the icy roads. Salt lowers the freezing point, causing the ice to melt. Needless to say, at 5 a.m., in minus 5 degree weather when I am driving to work, I find salt extremely useful. Salt is interesting. I also use salt in the kitchen, as a preservative or seasoning for food. And, it doesn’t surprise me that Christ Jesus was mentioned as using salt in a metaphor. Bible readers are counseled not to lose their saltiness, because, “You are the salt of the earth.” (Matt.5:13)

Bear in mind, all metaphors need to be taken with a grain of salt!

Admittedly, salt promotes traffic safety. However, the fact is, our New York vehicles are getting rusted out galore. Salt may preserve food, but it is corrosive to metals. Furthermore, on the subject of food, salt provides a tasteful flavor—usually—but too much salt tastes awful and can be harmful.

Too much, too little, useful here, but harmful there. Though it might not seem so, the salt metaphor attributed to Christ Jesus wasn’t intended to send our thought process in frenzied circles. We can think or reason with inspiration. Therefore, we can develop the metaphor and gain deeper meanings that improve our quality of life. Here is an example.

Regarding the salt metaphor, salt symbolizes an influence.

We are all influences, whether we want to admit it or not. We can be a tasteful influence. Or, we can be tasteless; not only insipid, but also unwelcoming. And then there is the infamous bad influence; the conformist to self-destruction, or material conservatism.

Aside from the menagerie of human influences, good or bad, we have the influence of God, Spirit, which is such that God’s nature, our spiritual goodness, is influentially manifest. Spiritual goodness can become the predominating factor in our daily experience.

Just the other day, at my job, Joey, one of my co-workers was bad-mouthing Sandra, another co-worker. Joey’s attitude wasn’t only tasteless humor, but also the emergence of a vendetta. I simply said to Joey, Sandra’s personality doesn’t bother me, we work well together to get the job done, and it will stay that way because there are many jobs to do here.
Joey was quiet. But, not troubled. He knew we all can sometimes be crabby or have personality issues; however, those quirks don’t have any more influence than we give them.

I don’t know when Joey will no longer have a personal ire toward Sandra, but Joey now is aware of the influential fact that at least he and I will continue to work well together to get our jobs done. A good start.

But, what if some people would rather stay isolated and nurse their personal campaigns? What if the saltiness has been lost? Guaranteed, a palatable influence will still come into effect, somehow and somewhere, because infinite God is a far cry from seclusion or exclusion. The key is not to determine the how and where. God, Spirit is universal and often speaks through the modest, yet tasteful hearts. From 21st Century Science and Health, “Let us pay attention and participate in spirituality.”

We can appreciate the salt of the earth. We can keep being the salt of the earth. We do not even need to fear a new direction in our life in order for that saltiness to be manifest. Oh sure, envy and accusatory minds will try to dismiss or trample on the salt of the earth, but anything unlike God will eventually drown in the earth’s oceans of salt.

Author's Bio: 

Cheryl Petersen's book 21st Century Science and Health is Mary Baker Eddy's textbook on Mind-healing in today's language. Purchase on