“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? I will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” — Matthew 5:13
In 2005, cancer patient Georgia Hayes won a $2.2 million court settlement against her pharmacist, who had diluted her chemotherapy drugs with water. In the process, she had lost her best chance for recovery. While $2.2 million is a lot of money, it’s little comfort when you don’t have long to live.
By definition, to dilute is to make thinner, to lessen strength, to adulterate, to reduce value or efficiency, to make fainter, or to water down. It means to lessen the impact, power, or strength of the original.
What could be more deadly than diluted cancer medication? Perhaps placebo pills for a cardiac patient or diluted insulin for a diabetic would be equally as tragic. Actually, the most deadly medicine I could think of would be a watered down life or a watered-down gospel—because the tragic results are eternal.
Jesus spoke of the tragic nature of a watered-down life. He said that when salt loses its saltiness, the results are irreversible. What a tragedy to find ourselves in a situation that leaves us unusable in the Lord’s work!
How could something like this happen? A diluted life is not a sudden thing but a subtle thing. It does not happen overnight but is something that develops over a long period of time.
Soft choices, undefined convictions and unstated commitments all help to contribute to the imperceptible slide of a diluted life. The compromises are small and the slippage is unnoticeable.
God has called us to be salt. Salt is a powerful influence. It slows decay, has disinfecting power, creates thirst, irritates at time and infuriates at others. Salt is not neutral, and neither should you and I be!
By allowing the things of this world to influence us, we live in danger of being watered-down, if not being wiped out. We must stop the slide and take our stand. We must become the victors and not the victims of this world’s slow slide. We must be what God has intended that we be — salt!