Bob Tamasy: How’s Your Seasoning – Salty Enough?

Monday, May 15, 2017 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Some things in life we cannot live without. (I’m told smartphones, college football, milkshakes, GPS and HGTV aren’t considered among them!) You could come up with your own list of life’s must-haves, but one that comes immediately to my mind is salt. You know, that white stuff that comes in tiny granules?

Throughout history, societies have recognized the value of salt, at times making it a prized trading commodity. Did you know that in Austria, Salzburg literally means “salt castle,” and the city was established along the banks of the Salzach (“salt river”)? The word “salary,” some say, is derived from the Latin word for salt. If so, it’s no wonder individuals are described as being “worth their salt.


Salt boasts hundreds of functions, including being a vital part of the physiological composition of animals, and to a lesser degree, plant life. We often think of salt as a seasoning, capable of bringing out or adding flavor to various foods. It’s also a preservative, being used for that purpose before the advent of canning and refrigeration. In some forms, salt is capable of melting ice, as anyone who’s battled snow and ice in the winter can attest. When salt gets into a wound, it can heal and/or burn the one who has been injured. Salt also makes us thirsty.

My intent is not to provide a lesson in salt science, or salt sociology, but to consider why salt is used to convey important spiritual principles. In Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” He told His followers, “You are the salt of the earth…” (Matthew 5:13a). Jesus presented this metaphor to explain how His disciples were to reach out to those around them. Like properties inherent in salt, we’re commanded to serve as salt to help cultivate appetites for the Good News of Christ.

To those willing to listen, Jesus’ words create a hunger – as well as a thirst – to hear more. Heeding His truth, as Jesus promised, is the one path to salvation, to become “preserved” spiritually. The gospels show numerous accounts of people whose once-cold hearts melted through their encounters with Christ, and this still occurs today. Perhaps you were once like that yourself. 

To many individuals Jesus brought healing, and He continues to do this today – sometimes physically, sometimes relationally, and of course, eternally. At the same time, the Bible accounts tell us His words also caused some to burn with hatred toward Him, whether jealous of His influence over the many responding to Him, or simply refusing to accept His uncompromising terms.

In this same passage about salt, however, Jesus offered a stern warning. He said, “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men” (Matthew 5:13b). Remember Lot’s wife in the book of Genesis, who turned into a pillar of salt for disobeying God by looking back at the devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah? That didn’t exactly make her a pillar of the community.

I often wonder how well we’re doing at this “salt” business. Do we come across just as arrogant and argumentative as non-believers with whom we interact, whether face to face or Facebook to Facebook? Rather than making our message more palatable; serving to preserve and sustain the relationships we’re seeking to build; or melting the ice of hearts grown ice-cold to the truth of Jesus Christ, do we succeed only in irritating wounds still raw from unfortunate life experiences? 

We’re stewards of the truth, but that doesn’t justify bludgeoning others with it. Colossians 4:5-6 speaks to this, urging us to, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Similarly, 1 Peter 3:15-16 says we’re to speak “with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” Communicating the message of Jesus effectively calls for equal measures of wisdom, tact, compassion and respectfulness. It’s said you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. However, you can salt his oats.

----

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



The Union To Host Guitar Clinic Featuring Songwriter And Guitarist, James Duke

James Duke has toured around the world with Jesus Culture and with many recording artists including Kim Walker- Smith and John Mark McMillian. On Tuesday, July 24, he will make a stop in the Scenic City to host a Guitar Clinic. The clinic will be held at 5 p.m. at the Chattanooga House of Prayer, 3912 Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank.  Registration is $10 and can be completed ... (click for more)

Lee Announces Fultz As New Campus Pastor

Rob Fultz, a 2001 Lee alumnus, has been appointed the new campus pastor for Lee University, effective next month.   “We are fortunate to welcome Rob back to Lee as our new campus pastor,” said Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for student development at Lee. “He brings a wealth of church leadership experiences and the caring heart of a pastor to the role.”   Pastor ... (click for more)

Former Dalton High School Teacher Who Fired Gun At School Pleads Guilty, Sentenced To 2 Years

Jesse Randall Davidson, 53, formerly of 5219 Hwy 11, Rising Fawn, and formerly a teacher at Dalton High School, entered a guilty plea to criminal damage to property in the first degree, carrying a weapon within a school safety zone and disrupting the operation of a public school.  He was sentenced to serve two years in prison followed by eight years on probation on the first ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Bill Lee Is Great For Tennessee

I had the opportunity to meet Bill and Maria Lee at the grand opening of his Chattanooga Campaign HQ. He delivered, what was by most accounts, a showstopper speech at the Statesman’s dinner in Nashville the night before. He and Maria should have been worn out, but if they were, they really showed very little sign of it. His energy level, for a guy that couldn’t have gotten more ... (click for more)

A Successful East Ridge Bake Sale

Saturday's event at the Camp Jordan Pavilion was nothing more than extraordinary, if not history making.  Alongside the threatening eminent domain letters the citizens of East Ridge received, a Union was formed amongst the East Ridge Police Department.  Coming to City Council the night of April 26, I had only one thing I was focused on: eminent domain.  ... (click for more)