I’m not a science geek—I often confuse the periodic table with an antique period-piece of furniture—but I’m going to give you my best Christian version of Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
- Sodium is a basic chemical element. Basic, but never alone. Sodium is very active, which means it never stands by itself but clings to other elements to made compounds.
- Chlorine is another basic element, but it is highly caustic and poisonous. Because it is deadly, we use chlorine to kill bacteria in swimming pools and to bleach our clothes. It’s a stinker by itself, but becomes very useful when combined with other elements.
So we’ve got clingy sodium and caustic, deadly chlorine. When you combine the two, you get sodium chloride. We know this as salt. Common table salt.
Love is like sodium. Love never stands alone, but is always looking for something to cling to. People will cling to whatever shows them love, even if it is a lie or abusive. Love without truth will cling to worthless things. To paraphrase that great country-and-western theologian, Johnny Lee, without love we are “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
Truth is like chlorine. Truth is strong and powerful, overcoming anything that stands in its way. Truth without love hurts—and it hurts deep. If someone has ever blindsided you with a caustic but true statement, you know truth hurts.
But when truth and love are combined—wow. When we express truth in a loving manner and all our actions are grounded in truth, we are salt, bringing flavor and enhancing the world around us. We make people thirsty for the source of that truth and love.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13).
I want to live my life in a way that makes people thirsty for the truth of Jesus Christ.
I want to live my life in a way that makes people thirsty for the love of Jesus Christ.
I can’t do one without doing the other. I am salt.
This post supports the study “Distinct in My Influence” in Bible Studies for Life.